March 4, 2020

On today's show we discuss the link between poverty and education.  Later, we bring you an interview with Sandy Huffman, the President of the Dallas nonprofit, Love for Kids.

Poverty and education are intricately linked. Education is a primary means of social mobility, enabling those born into poverty to rise in society and break the cycle.  While the only long-term solution to poverty might be a good education, a good education is seldom available to children living in poverty.  Kids who experience destitution and all the problems that come with it have enough trouble just surviving, much less succeeding in school.

About 90% of America's children go to public school. Test scores clearly show that low-income students are far less proficient in math and reading than their better-off peers.

A growing number of children start kindergarten already trailing their more privileged peers and usually just never catch up.  In poor homes, both parents work...often 2-3 jobs just to survive. So these kids are less likely to have the support they need at home. 

Children living in poverty often come to school without having had enough sleep, and without having had breakfast.  They often experience family violence, abuse, neglect, and a lack of basic essentials. 

And this brings us to today's nonprofit, Love for Kids...

LOVE FOR KIDS, a nonprofit in Dallas, Texas, was established in 1975 by Bill Barrett, a local businessman and philanthropist, and Alan Powdermaker, CEO of Circle R Ranch.  @loveforkids

The mission of Love for Kids is “to ensure that children and their parents have easy access to education and resources.”   This is not very easy for our families who live in some of our impoverished areas in North Texas and it is especially difficult for families who have special needs or chronically ill children.  Many parents in Dallas are stretched financially and emotionally. Low wages and long hours leave little quality time to spend with children. Child abuse cases are rising.  When Love for Kids teaches parents how to be more effective and make better decisions, then we impact and lower the child abuse rate.

Bev had the opportunity to sit down with Sandy Huffman, the President of Love for Kids.

This Week We Celebrate Read Across America

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

This week, in cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA's Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students' reading.