“But I being poor have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
~ William Butler Yeats
What does it mean to grow up poor in America? Tonight AETN will air FRONTLINE, Poor Kids, at 9 pm locally. This episode of Frontline follows several of the more than 13 million children in poverty for a glimpse at what life is like for a child in need. There is the near-constant hunger, the stress that comes from watching a parent struggle, and oftentimes, days and weeks spent living in a shelter or bouncing from motel to motel.
The figures from the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) below underscore many of the challenges facing all of the children living in poverty.
- The federal poverty guideline for a family of four is $23,050. Today’s poverty guidelines compare with a median household income in the U.S. of $50,054.
- Extreme poverty is defined as an annual income of less than half of the poverty level, or $11,511 for a family of four.
- Over seven million children – one in ten – lived in extreme poverty in 2011.
- In 2011, one in four infants, toddlers and preschoolers were poor, at the very same time that their brains are rapidly developing and attention to their developmental needs is so important.
- Nearly two-thirds of all poor children – approximately 10.3 million – lived in single-parent families, with single-mother families facing some of the greatest challenges.
- Child poverty was at its lowest level 40 years ago (14.0%) and has risen nearly every year over the last decade.
- Our youngest children continue to be most at-risk of being poor: the child poverty rate for children under six* increased by 38 percent between 2000 and 2011.
- In Arkansas, 28.1% of our children live in poverty with 12.6% living in extreme poverty.
For more information attend a training session for Home Visitors and find out “What Poverty Does to the Brain.” You can look for upcoming dates on our website, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter.
We look forward to seeing you at a future training!
Posted by: Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price on November 20, 2012