Social Justice Topic: Child Poverty

Excerpts from my paper written on the social justice topic of child poverty:

Childhood poverty refers to the unfortunate occurrence of children living in poor families, in poor conditions, and with limited or absent resources. Poor in the United States is defined by a family’s income. For a family of four in the U.S. makes $23,624 in annually. When children experience poverty, their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual states are compromised (UNICEF, 2015). Material poverty refers to inadequate nutrition or engaging in laborers or tasks that are not age appropriate.

The Washington post published an article online almost a year ago reporting child poverty in the U.S. being among the worst of the developed worlds. It is surprising and embarrassing that a country so advanced, deemed the richest country in the world, and who allegedly has equal opportunity for everyone has such a high population of children in homeless shelters.

Child poverty would be a good social justice lesson to teach elementary students. They could relate on personal level because of their ages and it would be my hope that it would encourage them to become more aware of their community. Depending on the area you teach in, if students are having trouble visualizing that social justice issue, enlarged photographs would be a great way for students to try to get the connection. Many students have never seen a homeless person before. But if shown a picture, they would get a better idea. The website, Teaching Tolerance, has planned an informative lesson on using photographs to teach social justice issues. You don’t have to look a certain way to be poor or even hungry and the photographs would help tell that story. - T. Young

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