Sunday, March 8, 2015

Poverty Chapter 5

I feel that one of the most important facts from chapter 5 and what I have come to realize myself over time is the importance of reading to your child, and making every parent aware of this.  The articles that were presented during our last session stated that those children who come from lower income families are about 32 million words behind a child coming from an upper class home.  I agree with the statement of making a child smarter one word at a time, the more we speak to our children the larger it will expand their vocabulary and may even get them reading at a younger age.

There was also talk about the AVID program that is taking place at school's in Bismarck and how it is working for them, this sounds lie a very good program and may also be good for our local school's.  A fact that seems to come up in every session is teaching the whole student, there are many school's talked about in the book that are high-poverty and they are working with the students to meet adequate yearly progress, even though many of the student's come from families that receive free or reduced meals.  Our schools in Rugby do not have near the students on free and reduced lunches, but there are some that come from homes where they are living with very little, and this is affecting how they do in school.  We need to remember this as teacher's and try to guide these student's in the right direction, to maybe prevent this from happening to them also when they have a family.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Poverty, chapter 4

One of the biggest take aways from this chapter was focusing on the whole child, making sure we are there for them in every way, but not feeling sorry for them.  As we discussed some of the ways that our school is meeting the needs of students, we found there are many ways that we are not able to help all students that come from homes with poverty.  I thought that we had more accommodations for some of these students, but now realize there is only so much we can do for them.  After going through the list of where we rank, I find there are some that do not apply to our schools, while others should probably be more of a priority.

In order for some students to make it in this fast paced world where nobody may be standing up for them, we may need to step in and try to help.  I do believe that we have different tutoring programs to help students that struggle with academics, but we do not have mental health counseling, access to medication, housing and utilities, dental care, life skill classes that will help with finances, health and housing, medical care and psychology.  When you take a good look at all of these things we are failing some of students by not providing these services.

I do feel that with all of the professional development classes that we are taking, it should help all staff be aware of what is happening with the students in our community.  The more we are informed of what is happening with those students in poverty situations, may be an eye opener to always make sure that we are treating all students fairly.  If a child comes from a home of poverty, they are not able to control the situation, if they have a goal in mind to work towards a better lifestyle, it is up to us to offer support and help them achieve this goal.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The biggest takeaway from chapter three was that the younger a child is when we start working with them, the more valuable it may be for them as they get older.  As was stated in the book, "Studies have shown that educational intervention has the potential to narrow or eliminate the socioeconomic performance gap, showing sustained and cost-effective results.  This is a very powerful statement, and sums up everything that the chapter is about.  There is data provided in this chapter that shows children that have been given an opportunity to attend early education classes are more likely to improve reading, verbal, writing and tutoring skills, this may be done by retraining the brain.

I agree with much of the information provided in this chapter, I also feel that if a child comes from poverty they are still able to make something of themselves, if they are given opportunities to get an education at an early age. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The biggest take away for me in the first two chapters of this book were the surprising statistics of the amount of people that are still living in poverty.  I have always felt that if a person wanted to work in the United States that there should be jobs available.  After the discussion within our group I realized that many that are not working may be because this is how they were raised, and do not know how to break the cycle.  I realize that even in our own community there are many people that are living below the poverty level, this has to be very hard for them trying to raise kids when there are so many that have everything.  I grew up in a large family and if we wanted to buy anything we had to make our own money and pay for it ourselves, I feel there are very few families that have to do this anymore.  It was not always easy for us, because there was very little money and we made do with what we had, but I know that there are some that are less fortunate.

I have been to a conference called "Bridges over Poverty"  there was a lot of great information presented to us, that really made me stop and think about ways that I could maybe help these people.  When I see a child living in poverty now, I would like to see if there is any way that I can assist them.  I know that there is nothing that the children in these families can really do, unless that it is something that they want bad enough.  It is not always easy to get out of these living conditions, but sometimes you need to want something bad enough, that you will find a way out.  One of the things that sticks out in my mind about the reading is the amount of words that a child living in poverty is exposed to compared to those that come from higher income families.  I feel the best thing that we can do for these children is to be there for them in every way that we can, if they need a little help offer assistance, if they need a little push, do that also.

There are a lot of statistics provided in this book, not only about the education, but also the many other factors in these children's lives that could be affected because of the type of family they were born into.  We can not only think about what some of these children are doing wrong all the time, but need to be mindful of what they are also doing right and letting them know about it.  They may have many struggles at home including where their next meal will come from, if they have clean clothes to wear, and even getting to school.  if they make it to school, I hope that this is a place where they feel safe and know that the teacher is there to help them and not hinder them.