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How Does Poverty in America Affect a Child's Literacy?

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on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of How Does Poverty in America Affect a Child's Literacy?

How Does Poverty in America Affect a Child's Literacy?
Mikayla Morrow
Lexi Pacarar
Facts About Children in Poverty
More than one in five children in the US live in poverty
Black and Hispanic children have the highest rates of poverty at 33% and 27%
White and Asian children have poverty rates of 14% and 12%

Single mother families have a poverty rate of 42%
Single father families have a poverty rate of 21%
Couple families only have a poverty rate of 8%

How does poverty affect a child's learning ability?
Chronic stress from living in poverty has been shown to affect a child's concentration and memory.
2/3 of children in poverty have no books at home, and most likely live in an area where libraries are not available to them.
1 in 4 children grow up without learning how to read
"Fourth grade is the watershed year. We can predict if a child is not reading proficiently in the fourth grade, he or she will have approximately a 78 percent chance of not catching up."
Education Level Compared with Reading Level(2003)
Literacy Level, 2003
What is literacy?
"Literacy is defined as 'using printed and written information to function in society, acheive one's goals and develop one's knowledge and potential.'"

"Teenagers who live in poverty are significantly more likely to experiment with drugs, alcohol, and risky sexual behavior. Poor teens are also more likely to engage in unlawful acts, ranging from minor shoplifting to serious gang activity. At a time when they should be laying the foundation for their success as adults, teenagers who live in poverty are often making bad decisions that will only serve to further complicate their lives."

How does this relate to Frederick Douglass?
Frederick Douglass grew up as a slave, he was not supposed to have access to an education. Though most American children in poverty today have access to some education, they do not have the same privileges that middle class or wealthy children have. Frederick Douglass was fortunate to have any kind of education, but he also had the will to keep learning, whereas most children in poverty have lost any sort of motivation to learn.
How can you help?
"Being able to read and write is the most basic foundation of knowledge accumulation and further skill development. Without literacy, there can be no quality education."
RIF, Reading is Fundamental, tries to make books available to all children
Reading books aloud to children at an early age is the most effective way to help them attain speech and reading skills
The National Center of Education Statistics reports in 2008 that the dropout rate of students living in low-income families is about 4 1/2 times greater than the higher income families
1/3 of fourth graders are proficient in reading
1/2 of low income fourth graders score below basic levels on literacy assignments
Preventing schools and libraries with low budgets from shutting down may also help many children have access to books since 60 percent of low-income families can not afford to keep books in their house
Lack of motivation is a huge factor, children have to have the "skill and will" to learn

How will poverty now affect the future?
According to UNICEF, "nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names," and these rates are only expected to increase as years pass.

What is poverty?
Poverty is a long term effect
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionaries, poverty is "the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions."
UNICEF uses the more complicated definition of child poverty: "children living in poverty are deprived of nutrition, water and sanitation facilities, access to basic health-care services, shelter, education, participation and protection, and that while a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human being, it is most threatening and harmful to children, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, to reach their full potential and to participate as full members of the society."
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
-Frederick Douglass
How can you help?
Full transcript