I have a friend. We have known each other for over 30 years. We have known each other across the continent. We have stood together in storms, never knowing if we would be safe. We have comforted each other through accidents, illness, fear and loss. We have held each other when our parents died.
I have loved him when he tried to hide and my words could not reach him. He has loved me when I felt unworthy of love. Because we dared to trust, to open our souls to each other, because we have broken to pieces in front of each other, we have the privilege of saying, as if for the first time,
“You are my friend.”
I look at him, after what for many is a lifetime, and we say, “Tell me your truth, share your love.” Let us sit closely together, more interested in huddling together than flying away.
Having a real friend, one with whom you can share your deepest fears and greatest joy, is a form of wealth that will bring you everything you need.
To find this kind of friend, we must be this kind of friend.
- Poverty is relative
- Poverty occurs in all races
- Economic class is a continuous line not a clear cut distinction
- There is a difference between generational and situational poverty
- In the United states in 2001, poverty rates for all individuals was 11.7%, for children under the age of 18 the poverty rate was 16.3% and for children under the age of 6 the rate was 18.2%.
- There were 6.8 million poor families (9.2% in 2001, up from 6.4 million (6.7%) in 2000.
- The foreign-born population in the United States has increased 57% since 1990 to total 30 million. In 200 one of every five children under age 18 in the U.S. was estimated to have at least one foreign-born paren. Immigrant children are twice as likely to be poor as native-born children. Among Children whose parents work full time, immigrant children are at a greater risk of living in poverty than native-born children (National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University, 2002).
- Regardless of race or ethnicity, poor children are much more likely than non-poor children to suffer developmental delay and damage, to drop out of high school and give birth during the teen years (Miranda, 1991).
- Poverty-prone children are more likely to be in single paren families (Einbinder, 1993). Median female wages in the United States, at all levels of educational attainment, are 30% to 50% lower than male wages at the same level of educational attainment (TSII Manual, 1995, based on U.S. Census data 1993).
- Poor inner-city youths are seven times more likely to be the victims of child abuse or neglect than are children of high social and economic status (Renchler, 1993).
- Poverty is caused by interrelated factors: parental employment status and earnings, family structure and parental education (Five Million Children, 1992).
- Children under age 6 remain particularly vulnerable to poverty. Children living in families with a female householder and no husband present experienced a poverty rate of 48.9% (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2001).
- The United States' child poverty rate is substantially higher - often two or three times - than that of most other major Western industrialized nations.
- Identify the resources necessary to help students move from poverty to success
- Practice a variety of intervention skills to assist students with discipline and academic achievement
- Learn the role that language plays in poverty situations
- Experience the hidden roles that exist in social structures
- Learn the characteristics of generational poverty
- Identify role models and support systems that schools can use as interventions
- Establish healthy communication patterns. Put the emphasis on listening. Remember, we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen at least 50% of the time. Often Listening is the only assistance a child needs to help them solve a problem.
- Teach respect by showing and modeling respect to students.
- Teach trustworthiness as a core human value and an essential ingredient in character development.
- Promote the behavior of responsibility. Remind students that they are 100% responsible for what they think, feel, say and do. Now one can make you think, feel, say or do anything.
- Demonstrate moral character. Establish ground rules in the classroom. Teach a true sense of right and wrong.
- Promote helping others and a service mentality. Assign yourself, don't wait. Encourage cross age tutoring. If something needs to be done, do it! Democracy is not a spectator sport. Get and stay involved.
- Most importantly teach students to acknowledge the existence of problems. Encourage them to seek help from parents, other teachers and counselors when they have a concern.
“We do not realize that the things we do on a daily basis, such as saying “Hello” to someone, or even smiling at them, can make a difference to a person. We have the power and we have control, and we can change the world.” – Emily (2009 conference attendee)