- Sponsorship -
Home Issues in Education The Burden of Poverty

The Burden of Poverty

A series on poverty in the schools and how it affects students’ learning. We examine the problems poverty creates for students and their families and the schools and strategies that are helping disadvantaged students succeed.

Got Breakfast?

Just after the morning school bell rings, West Kelloggsville Elementary School teacher Joy Howard calls up her kindergartners one-by-one to hand them breakfast. They settle back in their seats to sip milk and juice, nibble cereal, crunch apples and...

Report: Are We Caring for Our Children? Not Well Enough

When Carol Paine-McGovern sees child poverty continuing to rise in Kent County, she takes some comfort in the work local schools and their communities are doing to relieve its burden on students. She’s intimately involved in that work as...

Wanted: A House We Can Afford

Dawn Broene is well aware of the challenges of finding affordable housing in the Lowell area. Breone, director of Flat River Outreach Ministries, said the organization's social worker hears from three to five families a week who are having trouble...

Brain Games: Focusing on Memory to Reduce Effects of Poverty

Second-grade teacher Patrick Sokol is working to close gaps in achievement seen in students raised in poverty, and he's zeroing in on helping students develop "working memory." In his West Elementary classroom on a Friday morning, Sokol drew a mixing...

First Generation College Student Struggles to Fit In

Jordan Lovett feels a little like a puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit lately. She sits in the Moose Cafe at Aquinas College holding a cup of hot cocoa and reflects on the last semester. "It was really stressful," she...

Mom Is ‘Determined to Do It’

When Danielle Warner-Cavasos gets an A on a test, she puts it right where her children will see it: on the fridge. That's how much getting her high school diploma means to her, and she wants them to know it. "They...

Providing Equity in Education Can Mean Everything to a Child

In science, a paradigm shift occurs when there is a change in underlying assumptions, when conventional wisdom comes into question as a result of something that doesn't fit the pattern. In my early childhood years, my family perfectly fit the...

Equity Leads to Excellence in Schools, Requires Courage and Tenacity

A child's background remains the biggest predictor of his or her success in the classroom, said professor and author Pedro Noguera. But that doesn't have to be the case. "Your background should not determine what you can accomplish in education,"...

SNN Series Shows Team Approach Can Help Students Overcome Poverty

I knew there was poverty up there in northern Kent County, but I didn’t know it felt this cold. Flossie Bliss sat in a plastic lawn chair in her mobile home, wrapped in a coat. The November chill seeping through...

Lee High School: A Tale of the Need for Equity

Lee High School freshman Paul Villarreal wrote down his vocabulary words: "zest," "campaigner," "poliomyelitis" and "delegate" while in the Scholastic READ 180 classroom. The program, which blends online and teacher-led instruction, helps students become better readers. "It has helped me...

Grand Rapids Gets Behind Getting Students to School

Antonio Zavala is the kind of student Grand Rapids Public Schools has been cultivating recently: the kind who comes to school every day, on time and ready to learn. The 11-year-old fifth-grader at Sibley Elementary School on Grand Rapids' Northwest...

‘You Can Be a Victim or a Victor,’ Homeless Coordinator Tells Teens

Conversations between Aliya Armstrong and her students usually begin with the same question: "How are you doing?" For the students who show up in Armstrong's East Kentwood High School office, that query often results in a complicated answer. As the...

Great Teachers Make a Lasting Difference, Studies Show

The old adage that having one great teacher can make a big difference in a student’s life is true, research shows – especially for a student struggling with poverty. Not surprisingly, having more than one great teacher can make an...

With Love and High Expectations, Top Teachers Nurture Good Students

The boy was not having a good day. A new student in Vicki Boase’s second-grade classroom, Ja’Quon sat scowling in his seat while other students were getting to work. Boase took him into the hall and had a talk....

Teachers Join Forces to Feed Families in Need

Lee Middle School eighth-grader Jonathan Lopez helped distribute food from a Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry truck recently to Godfrey-Lee Public Schools families. "Some people don't have enough food and most get paid minimum wage so they need help," said...

Vision, Hearing Problems Add More Stress to Families

Eryka Ehling felt lucky. Her 4-year-old daughter didn't need a hearing aid after all. The news followed several weeks of anxiety after 4-year-old Alexis failed a hearing screening at her Head Start center last fall. Ehling, a single mom who...
Sponsorship
Sponsorship