Thursday, May 9, 2013

Choosing poverty?

Who would choose poverty if there was another option? There is often a myth in America that people choose poverty. Okay, the choice isn't that simple, but many believe that people simply do not make choices that will lead them out of poverty. I understand that as humans our power comes in the form of consciousness and the ability to make conscious choices, but there still must be a choice in front of us for us to be able to make it. For example, there are parents that want so badly for their kids to avoid the pitfalls of inner city poverty: gangs, drugs, violence, the criminal justice system, poor education. These parents can want to choose the best for their kids, but if there is no real choice in front of them, then little will come of it. A radical experiment in New York is helping to highlight this. It is a school called The Harlem Children's Zone. Parents line up to get their kids into this revolutionary school. The school begins helping parents BEFORE BIRTH! That's right. It provides training from the beginning in how to be a parent. After years of molding students and parents, the school has done what few parents could do without it; it has equalled and surpassed test scores for white middle class students. Watch the CBS video below and see how the school is doing it and the success it has had. Realize that all of these parents wanted the best for their kids, but only the school made it happen. What do you think happend to the kids who weren't fortunate enough to get into the school? What about all of the impoverished students across America who do not have access to a school like that?

Watch CBS News Videos Online
An excerpt from the report:
"You grow up in America and you're told from day one, 'This is the land of opportunity.' That everybody has an equal chance to make it in this country. And then you look at places like Harlem, and you say, 'That is absolutely a lie,'" Canada told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"So you're trying to level the playing field between kids here in Harlem and middle class kids in a suburb?" Cooper asked.

"That's exactly what we think we have to do," Canada said. "You know, if you grow up in a community where your schools are inferior, where the sounds of gunshots are a common thing, where you spend your time and energy not thinking about algebra or geometry, but about how not to get beat up, or not to get shot, or not to get raped, when you grow up like that, you don't have the same opportunity as other children growing up. And we're trying to change those odds."

1 comment:

  1. I agree there are some people that believe the reason others are in poverty is because they don't work hard enough or that they are lazy. A kid in one of my classes said that all of those who couldn't make it to middle class were indolent and wanted to stay in poverty; no matter how much the teacher tried to convince him that his mother was working class and she worked 3 shifts when he was young, but still couldn't get out of poverty.