After attempts to establish professional contacts in Nigeria and Ireland, I opted to research option 2 of this week’s assignment. The link for Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre’s (http://www.childhoodpoverty.org/) failed me as well. In trying to establish the correct link, I discovered some startling facts in an article featured by the Urban Institute (www.urban.org)
- Sixty-three percent of children enter adulthood without experiencing poverty, but 10 percent of children are persistently poor, spending at least half their childhoods living in poverty, (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2010).
- Black children are roughly 2.5 times more likely than white children to ever experience poverty and 7 times more likely to be persistently poor, (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2010).
- Children who experience poverty tend to cycle into and out of poverty, and most persistently poor children spend intermittent years living above the poverty threshold, (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2010).
- Being poor at birth is a strong predictor of future poverty status. Thirty-one percent of white children and 69 percent of black children who are poor at birth go on to spend at least half their childhoods living in poverty, (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2010)/
- Children who are born into poverty and spend multiple years living in poor families have worse adult outcomes than their counterparts in higher-income families, (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2010).
These are alarming statistics for the United States, a country rich in resources and technology. In Nigeria the poverty rate is more than 45% meaning almost half of their countries population is living below the poverty level (World Bank, 2014). A percentage of Nigeria’s poverty is due to several rural regions in their country that has limited resources and jobs. For Ireland, almost 9% of their children are living in poverty (Combat Poverty, ND). No child should have to face being consistently hungry or worry about where and when they are getting their next meal.
As we’ve learned this week poverty affects children’s health and their ability to function and learn. Staying abreast of current economic trends and building contacts and resources to assist children in need will only strengthen the bond teachers develop with their students and allow us to not only teach but become part of their support team as well.
Ratcliffe, C. & McKernan, S.M. (2010). Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences. The Urban Institute (Brief 14, June 2010). Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/412126.html