Thursday, June 26, 2014

Children in poverty

Guess what determines poverty for children? You know what I'm going to say. Marriage--or the lack of it. Look at this chart. Poverty rates for children of married couples is the flat line at the bottom; essentially it hasn't changed for whites in 35 years and has decreased for blacks. Also it is almost the same for married black couples and married white couples--2 lines meet in 2000 and 2008. If you eyeball the chart and figure out where 2009 is, you'll see poverty among children has increased in all groups with Obama in charge of the economy. (Recession ended in 2009)



The latest buzz words from the President are "word gap." That was the subject of the June 24 presidential message. In short, parents need to talk to their children because poor and low income children hear half as many words as the children of better educated parents who are earning more. And the federal government is giving a boost to none other than Hillary Clinton in the public-private partnership called Too small to Fail. The partner is the Bill Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Reading to children is a super idea--but the parent also needs to enjoy reading (not just know how), spending time with the child, and has to turn off the phone and TV as a start. If you read the lyrics of popular songs, that probably won't improve vocabulary (singing is another suggestion to close the "word gap").

Dad--you can read the sports section of any newspaper to your child (they don't really care if they know you are interested in it).  It has the highest grade level of words.  Also lots of idioms and pictures and good writing. This is not in the research--it's my advice. One day in the coffee shop I saw a dad reading to his infant and I think it was Dickens. The child never took his eyes off dad's face.

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