Home visiting in high school: Trying an intervention for toddlers on teenagers

January 4, 2019 | The Hechinger Report

Johnathan Snead, 15, is flitting in and out of a white, vinyl-sided prefab shed that’s been converted into a bedroom. The bed dominates the room, and a crooked “home sweet home” plaque hangs on the wall. A lone window allows in little light. Each time a door opens, cigarette smoke drifts in from the mobile home his family shares next door.

As Johnathan plays on his cellphone and romps outside with his dog, Pork Chop, his mother, Carol Cannon, 44, chats with two women perched on chairs crammed in by the foot of the bed. When Johnathan settles inside momentarily, the women, both teachers at Johnathan’s high school, ask Cannon the question that’s brought them there: “What are your hopes and dreams for Johnathan?”

Cannon doesn’t hesitate: She wants him to finish high school, get a job and maybe go to college. “I want you to have better things than I ever had,” Cannon tells her son. “You don’t want to live on a check monthly by monthly. You don’t want to do that. It’s hard.”

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