Identifying working with students of poverty memca conference march 14 2014
Sponsored Links
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
1 / 28


  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

IDENTIFYING & WORKING WITH STUDENTS of POVERTY MEMCA CONFERENCE March 14, 2014. Funding for this project is generously provided by the Mott Foundation. Collaborative Partners: GISD, MCC, MMC, MDE. 46 Million Americans… 15% of the population live in poverty.

Download Presentation


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Funding for this project is generously provided by the Mott Foundation.

Collaborative Partners: GISD, MCC, MMC, MDE

46 Million Americans… 15% of the population live in poverty.

  • 80% of America’s wealth is owned by 4% of the population.

  • 40% of it is owned by 1% of the population.


  • What do you believe causes poverty?

  • Where do your beliefs come from?

    • Were they passed down from your parents?

    • Did you learn them from your community?

    • Do you have your own experience with poverty?

  • How are your experiences and exposure to opportunities, while growing up, different than students and families you serve?

  • Are you armed with relevant facts about poverty?

  • Are you able to suspend judgment and understand people are making the best decisions possible from their perspective?

16 Million U.S. Children… 1 out of 5, live in families that struggle to put food on the table.

  • Nationally, the average welfare check for one parent and two children is $478 per month.

  • Twenty years ago, it was $408.

  • The average disability check is $600.

  • Less than 2% of the federal budget is allocated for welfare.

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a stint of poverty between 2009 & 2011.

The suburban poverty rate in the U.S. in 2012 was 11.3%

Rural poverty has exceeded urban poverty every year since the 60’s.

  • 1 in 4 working households in America spend more than half of their pre-tax income on housing.

  • In 2012, the National Low Income Housing Coalition conducted a study that examined the cost of housing across the United States, and found that no city had rentals priced low enough where a minimum wage earner could live comfortably.

  • Youth living in poverty are the least likely to become educated in our nation.

  • People living in poverty often experience education as “stress” and see it as a place they do not belong.

A college education appears to be the only possibility to help people break the walls of poverty and escape its hardships; yet today, it is less likely a person in poverty will attain a college education than it was in the 1940’s.


  • Two or more generations born into poverty

  • Family never owned land

  • Highly mobile

  • Evictions/Shut Offs

  • First to graduate from high school

  • Has never known anyone who benefited from education

  • High rate of family illiteracy

  • Has never been respected in a job

  • Lack of tools/skill set to move out of poverty

  • Emphasis on survival

  • Focus is on making it through the day


  • Metropolitan areas of 50,000 or more

  • Complex aggregate of chronic and acute stressors

    • Overcrowding

    • Noise

    • Violence

  • Less green spaces

  • Low air and water quality

  • Many of the housing options are old and deteriorated; often not well kept

  • Inconsistent health care

  • Dependent on large city services which are often inadequate


  • Rural poverty rate is higher than urban rate of poverty

  • Non metropolitan areas

  • Much longer distance to services and educational options/no public transit

  • Fewer job opportunities

  • More single guardian households

  • Less access to services, such as health care and disability services

  • Lack of cultural experiences such as museums and libraries

  • Fewer opportunities for quality education and post-secondary options


  • Often caused by a sudden crisis or loss

    • Environmental disasters

    • Divorce

    • Health issues

    • Family death

    • Job loss or economic slowdown

  • More likely to bounce back and finish education

  • Often temporary

  • Can lose health care options which can perpetuate health crises

  • Major income drop impacting lifestyle

  • Often surrounded by people who are educated or able to earn a living wage

  • Attendance is accepted norm

  • Have not internalized the poverty as a personal problem

  • Often does not realize the advantage of growing up middle class


  • Economic income of a family whose income is insufficient to meet its society’s average standard of living

  • Working, but rarely have money for extras

  • Live paycheck to paycheck

  • Often teased or harassed by more affluent students

  • Often lack financial means to participate in activities of classmates

  • Often reluctant to have friends over to see their home because it does not compare with

    most of the other students’ housing.

  • Few have health care

  • Focus on making it two weeks or through the month

  • Poverty seen as personal deficiency


  • Have little or no financial resources

  • Face language and cultural barriers

  • Often struggling to straddle two cultures

  • Lack understanding of norms of second culture

  • May slip through the cracks

  • Extended family may be in another country

  • Or, may be multiple family members and multi-generational family members in home

  • Often do better than those born into poverty in America

  • Poverty is viewed as a system problem


  • Poverty can undermine the development of self and the capacity of self-determination and self-efficacy.

  • Strained resources correlate directly with poor school attendance, lower grades and lower chances of attending college.

  • More stressors in family means they receive less positive reinforcement. More stress riddled attachments with parents, teachers and adult caregivers.

  • Often lack a caring, dependable adult. Strains in attachments and added stressors often lead to behavioral issues in school.

  • Fewer books at home, more time watching TV or video games. Transportation issues.

    So…. these students are facing:

    • Social and emotional challenges, including depression

    • Acute and chronic stressors

    • Cognitive lags

    • Health and safety issues

    • More limited coping skills

    • Poor, short-term memory

Differences in the Brain Function Between High and Low SES

Brain function was measured by means of an electroencephalograph (EEG) - basically, a cap fitted with electrodes to measure electrical activity in the brain – like that used to assess epilepsy, sleep disorders and brain tumors.

“Kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to someone who actually had damage in the frontal lobe as an adult,” said Robert Knight, director of the institute and a UC Berkeley professor of psychology. “We found that kids are more likely to have a low response if they have low socioeconomic status, though not everyone who is poor has low frontal lobe responses.”


The adjustments we make to support our students

dealing with poverty help all our students.


  • Debunk myths

  • Know the culture of your community

  • Have high expectations for all students

  • Make decisions with your own children in mind

  • Believe in the student and their ability


  • Role model appropriate behavior

  • Embody respect

  • Be inclusive

  • Focus on the gifts, not the deficits

  • Celebrate successes

  • Show empathy and cultural awareness

  • Connect students to mentors whenever possible


  • Advisory groups

  • Embed social skills

  • Use differentiated instruction

  • Use all the senses and address all learning styles

  • Incorporate reading interventions

  • Utilize vocabulary in all disciplines

  • Mastery learning/nothing lower than a ‘C’

  • Be ready to change classroom practice

  • Address knowledge gaps


  • Dan Seder- principal/Bay Middle College

  • Lisa Reaume- counselor/Monroe Co.Middle College

  • Katherine Carr- teacher/Mott Middle College

Team Time:

The Great Inversion – “We’re in the midst of ‘the Great Inversion,’ writes Alan Ehrnhalt (2012) a journalist and analyst at the Pew Center on the States. Put simply, in the United States, affluent people are moving back to the cities as lower-income people move out to the suburbs. The social ramifications of this flip-flop are far-reaching. One positive outcome is the potential for greater school integration along race and class lines as both cities and suburbs become more diverse.” Ed Leadership/May 2013


2010 Census Bureau Report

Faces of Poverty. (2013). Education Leadership,

LeBlanc-Esparza, R., & Roulston, W.(2012) Breaking the Poverty Barrier: Changing Student Lives with Passion, Perseverance, and Performance. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree

Tileston, D. & Darling, S. (2008) Why Culture Counts: Teaching Children of Poverty. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree

Payne, R.K. (2001) A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Highland, TX: Aha Press.

Beegle, D.(2007) See Poverty….Be the Difference. Portland, OR: Communication Across Barriers, inc.

Contact Information:

Kerry Moore

Mott Middle College


  • Login