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The Burden of Poverty

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...

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...

State Poverty Numbers Grim, but Local Student Advocates See Signs of Hope

Lynn Heemstra has been working to improve the lives of Grand Rapids children since 1998. As executive director of Our Community’s Children, a nonprofit...

How Hunger Hurts Learning: Schools Seek to Feed Students’ Tummies and Minds

The list of ways hunger can affect a child's health is a long one. Chronic health issues like asthma, behavioral issues like anxiety and...

Turning Around a Low-Performing School

Arelis Diaz realized at a young age that it’s possible for a teacher to impact the life of a vulnerable student forever. In third grade,...

The Road to Success in a High-Poverty School: It’s All About Collaboration, Expectations

 In Holly Vostad’s North Godwin Elementary School classroom, kindergarteners sat in circles on the rug, discussing what they planned to write about: A weekend...

Offering Help Where It’s Needed, School and Home

When Rosalba Cruz was facing eviction from her mobile home because she was behind on rent, her daughter Anahi noticed she was stressing out. The...

Nonprofit Helps Students Boost Test Scores, Confidence Through Free Private Tutoring

Townline Elementary School fourth-grader Kadyn Toris has made huge gains in reading since he began receiving private tutoring at Streams of Hope. Since second grade,...

‘I’ll be Forever Grateful,’ Single Mom Says of Community’s Help

Flossie Bliss has a strong faith in God, but her faith in people has been renewed. The Cedar Springs single mother of four was astonished...

Migrant Students a Part of County’s Poverty Picture

In Kent City Community Schools, where some 53 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the usual problems of poverty persist. But...

Poverty Persists Out in the Country, Out of Sight

Nine-year-old Marisol is doing handstands and 16-year-old Rocio makes a peanut butter sandwich as their mother describes her dreams for them. “I want them to...

Beyond Reading and Writing: School Nurses Serve Main Point of Contact for Many Low-Income Students’ Medical Needs

Editor's Note: The Burden of Poverty: A Backpack of Heartache is a continuing series examining the problems poverty creates for students and their families, plus the schools...

Dental Team Saving Teeth, School Days, in Districts with High Need

Editor's Note: The Burden of Poverty: A Backpack of Heartache is a continuing series examining the problems poverty creates for students and their families, plus the schools...

The Price of Poverty: Students Struggle to Overcome Families’ Financial Hardships

Editor’s note: This month, School News Network launches a continuing series on poverty in the schools and how it affects students’ learning. We will...

For Most Students, Achievement Reflects Income

The higher the poverty, the lower the test scores. That’s the general story of academic achievement in Kent County public schools. Further, students’ economic hardships...

Student Describes Experiences, Obstacles of Living in Poverty

Lee High School senior Jordan Lovett headed to cross-country practice after her final class of the day. Along the way, she stopped to listen to...
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