5 Things to Know About Poverty and Children

5 Things to Know About Poverty and Children

Note: For additional information, click the number in parenthesis following each tip.

  1. Poor children face enormous barriers that the general journalist would find hard to imagine, just in terms of basics, such as having enough to eat, having a safe environment, a roof over their heads, and adequate clothing. (82)
  2. Keep in mind the cycle of poverty. Kids who come from poor families are less likely to go to good schools and are less likely to be prepared for school. I think if we did a better job spending more money on kids living in poverty when they are very young, we would have a better chance of not needing to continue to spend it. (84)
  3. Think about these questions: What are the numbers now and what’s the difference by race? What’s being done to close any achievement gap, reduce drop out rates, etc? How are parents engaged and trained? How does poverty affect children’s health and ability to learn? How does it feel to be a poor kid in this town? What do they do in the summer? (86)
  4. Understand the extent to which poor children impact the overall economy. When society doesn’t take care of its lowest socioeconomic people (poor children), what happens ultimately down the road to the economy for everybody else? Learn about things that surprise journalists, like the infant mortality rate in the U.S. and find out whether it’s been rising or lowering. (87)
  5. Children will carry the message to a reader because of their simple answers to complex problems. A child may say “I want to be an astronaut” and the journalist will have to explain the probability of that happening when the poor or minority child is faced with the realities. (90)