Poverty Within our Schools

With the holidays coming up, you think about the families who have love, respect and support for each other but lack money.

Parents always want better and more for their children than what they had as children. They want to give them the best money can buy. Most important, parents don’t want their children to see them struggle or stressed out.

But we live in a time where the cost of living is higher than what it should be—just to feed your child a healthy, balanced meal you have to pay an alarming amount of money.

Living in a safe neighborhood is almost impossible. Making sure that your child is in the correct environment with no negativity is also stressful. We have children and families going to bed at night hungry.

How can a child fully live up to their fullest potential when they can’t concentrate because their little bellies are making noise and they have hunger pains?

Many parents struggle to earn enough to cover the rent and other household bills; they take on extra jobs just to help cover some of their daily expenses. Tired and anxious, they barely have time to help their kids with their homework. Too tired to comprehend the new math, science, language, etc. that our children are being taught.

For Thanksgiving here we had a lot of schools collecting food donations and organizations helping families with handing out holiday baskets and turkeys. At my daughter’s school they collected food donations and handed out turkeys to families who needed them. This was done at all InspireNola Schools.

But the donations don’t stop when the holidays do. Schools take donations year round for clothes, food, and school supplies. When school began, I donated all of my daughter’s past school uniforms and backpacks. They were given out within a hour of the school receiving them.

I applaud our schools, administrators, teachers and staff because they take on a lot. They try to help families who come to them for help or may do so soon. They help with uniforms and school supplies, food during the holidays, clothing and other support a family may need.

Then there are students who work part-time jobs to help with expenses. Students have the extra pressure of taking care of their households instead of focusing on their studies.

Our children are stronger than what we give them credit. They’re extremely intelligent from an early age. How can we get them back just to being kids?

We want our children to bring home straight A’s and win scholarships but as a society are we setting them up with the proper foundation to accomplish their (and our) goals?

As a society how can we come together to ensure our kids have everything they need year round and not just during the holidays?

Trying to fix poverty will take an enormous amount of individuals to stop talking and step up to help. The small things count. Help pay for a field trip for a couple of students. When I can I personally pay for field trips and ask the teacher what some of the kids’ needs are. I haven’t been able to afford to offer financial help this year, but I would have loved to. I do, however, spend a lot of time at school being a part of daily activities. But it will take more donations of  time, money and essential items our schools to help ease poverty. Contact your child’s social worker at their school to see what is needed.
Become involved and engaged at your child’s school. Remember our future is in the making and we want to get them the tools to have a better outcome than what we had.

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