Poverty hits children hard

Educators say learning affected by recession
2011-02-18T04:00:00Z Poverty hits children hardBy Scott Fitzgerald, The Southern The Southern
February 18, 2011 4:00 am  • 

CARTERVILLE - The recent recession has produced to a sharp rise in child poverty statewide, and that poverty effects learning development.

The good news is school administrators, teachers and child care specialists in Southern Illinois are attempting to nip the problem early through a variety of special for students and families also, according to Illinois Kids Count. The group conducted a news conference Thursday at Carterville Tri-C Elementary School.

"These are tough times," said Assistant Superintendent Dale Heidbreder, who was conference leader. He was joined by Lori Longueville, director of Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College; Tri-C Principal Sarah Barnstable; and Tri-C Counselor Lisa Stanton.

IKC is a project of Voices for Illinois Children, a state-level project funded through a private foundation that provides annual data to policy makers, the state's board of education, agencies and the public.

The child poverty rate in Illinois jumped from 17 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009, which was the highest level since 1993, according to data compiled in the latest IKC study.

In Southern Illinois, the numbers were sterner with child poverty rates measured at 30 percent in Franklin County, 31 percent in Jackson County and 26 percent in Williamson County.

There was a correlation between those numbers and the rise of unemployment in the Southern Illinois counties that almost doubled in percentage points during the same period.

Low income student enrollment in the three counties far exceeded the state average of 45 percent with the exception of the Marion school district, which had 43 percent.

The Carbondale and Franklin County school districts finished below the statewide average for reading achievement at the end of the third grade, but Murphysboro and Marion school districts exceeded it.

Especially difficult have been those cases of poverty that came upon a family suddenly, wiping out savings and destroying a fam-ily's plans, Longueville said.

In one example, she said a Franklin County couple, one of them a disabled veteran, had to sell their house and move into subsidized housing because of postponed disability pay.

"They had planned for their future, but they couldn't plan for this," Longueville said.

The news was a little more optimistic from the Tri-C report. Barnstable said screening children early to determine fundamental skills in reading and math has led to a reduction in special education referrals.

"It's not news to educators. Early intervention is the key," Barnstable said.

Stanton said there are Tri-C initiatives to help provide food, clothing and other basic needs to children to help develop their feel-ings of self-worth and a sense of belonging.

She said an adult mentoring program has helped from 25 to 30 students and has been a very positive asset.

scott.fitzgerald@thesouthern.com

618-351-5076

 

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Benton High School closed Friday for 'ongoing threat'

School officials closed Benton Consolidated High School on Friday, as local police continue to investigate an ongoing threat to the building a… New

23 minutes ago(0)

Carterville after-school program will 'meet up' with space scientist

CARTERVILLE — A handful of students in First United Methodist Church of Carterville's Astra after-school program will have the chance to talk …

September 02, 2015 7:00 pm(0)
House falls short in override of SIU veto

House falls short in override of SIU veto

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House failed Wednesday to override a veto of legislation affecting Southern Illinois University.

September 02, 2015 4:38 pm Related (0)
Debate over Confederate flag rises in Harrisburg

Debate over Confederate flag rises in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG – As it has elsewhere in the country, the debate over a student’s right to display the Confederate flag at school versus district p… Developing

September 01, 2015 8:15 pm Photos

Photos

Related (33)
Du Quoin officers keeping closer eye on traffic at middle school

Du Quoin officers keeping closer eye on traffic at middle school

DU QUOIN — The morning drop-off at Du Quoin’s middle school is getting a little safer, thanks to Mayor Guy Alongi’s Facebook news feed.

September 01, 2015 10:51 am Related (0)
Luechtefeld to Receive Ralph Dunn Public Service Award from Paul Simon Institute

Luechtefeld to Receive Ralph Dunn Public Service Award from Paul Simon Institute

CARBONDALE — Illinois State Sen. David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, will be awarded the Ralph Dunn Public Service Award from the Paul Simon Publi…

August 31, 2015 7:00 am Related (1)
Child care advocates decry cutbacks

Child care advocates decry cutbacks

SPRINGFIELD — After more than a quarter century in the child care business, Janice Baldwin has seen her share of funding woes coming from stat…

August 30, 2015 6:00 am Related (1)
Governor signs legislation requiring CO detectors in schools

Governor signs legislation requiring CO detectors in schools

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois schools could soon be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms under legislation approved Thursday by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

August 28, 2015 7:00 am Related (0)
Budget mess could leave JALC students without key financial aid

Budget mess could leave JALC students without key financial aid

CARTERVILLE — Hundreds of financially needy John A. Logan College students will have to go without critical financial aid this semester unless…

August 27, 2015 7:00 am Related (1)
Rise in alcohol-related incidents at SIU

Rise in alcohol-related incidents at SIU

CARBONDALE -- Reported alcohol offenses were on the rise at Southern Illinois University in 2014, according to a report by the university’s De…

August 26, 2015 3:00 am Photos

Photos

Related (0)