Poverty Awareness

During the winter months much attention is paid to the homeless due to the holidays and inclement weather.  The “Great Recession” has caused a number of children and families to be homeless through the rise of home foreclosures; whether situational or generational, homelessness is on the rise. According to National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), “at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, public schools enrolled 939,903 homeless children and youth – a 38 percent increase since the 2006-2007 school year.”

Additionally, NAEHCY states, “Homelessness is associated with a higher likelihood of multiple school transfers, missing school (truancy), dropout, and/or lower standardized test scores. Thus, homeless students often require additional supports if they are to be able to participate in any educational program.”  If students affected attend school, they are emotionally and mentally unprepared to conquer the school day.   Faced with these challenges, staff members need to be equipped with tools to help students affected by homelessness and poverty succeed while in the building. What is your building doing?

One option is to train staff how to understand poverty and how the school setting is set up as a middle-class establishment with social cues or “hidden rules” that govern the building. “Economic class differences, in an educational setting, often make both teaching and learning challenging.” Too often, educators don’t understand why students in poverty fear being educated, or why they are chronically acting out.  Simultaneously, students and parents in poverty don’t understand how to navigate the middle-class “hidden rules.”  A Framework for Understanding Poverty workshop by Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D., covers how economic class affects behaviors and mindsets, why students from generational poverty often fear being educated, the “hidden rules” within economic classes, discipline interventions that improve behavior, and the eight resources that make a difference in success.  We have a certified trainer who can provide this workshop to your organization or group.  Call us today to schedule!

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