Twitter was atwitter yesterday, about a big story expected in today's The New York Times. It has five parts; I've only read one so far, and it's well worth your time.

It's a story about Dasani. She's a talented 11-year-old whose parents can't afford rent in New York, the most economically unequal city in the country with the second-highest child poverty rate in the developed world (only Romania neglects more kids than we do).

Dasani and her family dream of moving up in the world into the projects. In part one of reporter Andrea Elliott's story, Dasani starts school at LaGuardia Arts. Almost all the students there are on free or reduced lunch, but they mostly live in the projects. It isn't long before Dasani is exposed to her fellow students as stuck living in a shelter. Six of the middle school's 157 students live in shelters.

At the bottom of part one, you can watch short videos of Dasani dancing and being interviewed by her mother. You can also read the source notes behind Elliott's story, which have been separated in order to keep the main narrative moving—it's not gummed up by "according to"s and statistics, but the notes reveal tremendous amounts of research behind Elliott's descriptions of the conditions and the stories she shares.

To follow talk about the story on Twitter, it's under #InvisibleChild. Interesting questions are arising already.


This is a New York Times story, but it's not a New York-only story.

I would really love it if in honor of all the kids in need of some help, you'd join me in making a donation to Slog's Charity Challenge this year, which we've tried to make fun by including Pearl Jam and Macklemore and whatnot, but which really is a way to keep kids like Dasani hooked up with the most basic needs through YouthCare's Orion Center at Denny and Stewart.

Please please join me, everyone.