When poverty comes to school
How being poor affects our most vulnerable students, and how we help them rise above it.
An appalling number of American children live in poverty. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 14.7 million, or nearly 20 percent of children under age 18, live below the poverty line—that is, in households with incomes less than $23,550 a year for a family of four.
And these children bring the debilitating effects with them to school every day.
Poverty climbs the steps of the school bus in the morning, when a child comes in from the cold with no jacket. PSRPs see it again at the end of the day when there is no one to meet that bus—in an unsavory part of town—because parents are busy working too many hours at low wages. We see it at lunch, when children ask for second helpings because they are not getting enough to eat at home.