Poverty Impacts Education in Columbia

3 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, August 29 2013 Aug 29, 2013 Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:28:00 PM CDT August 29, 2013 in News
By: Brittany Pieper, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - Education is often seen as a way out of poverty, but getting that education can be a struggle for both kids and adults below the poverty line.

Adrian Clifton spends as much time as she can reading to her kids and encouraging them to take school seriously. As a former teacher and current PhD student studying education and literacy, she wants them to have every possible opportunity because she wants their childhood to look different than her own. Clifton grew up in poverty in Columbia.

"I made a lot of bad choices. I was in and out of juvenile detention," Clifton said.

By the end of her high school years she managed to turn things around and got into the University of Missouri, but her success didn't come easily.

"There's a lot of barriers. A lot of challenges. I mean it definitely feels at times that the world is absolutely against you," Clifton said.

Clifton feels she was lucky to have a mother and school counselor who showed her how to apply for scholarships and federal aid which made the cost of college less overwhelming, but recent test scores show the gaps go beyond income.

On the 2013 map tests minority and low income students in Columbia Public Schools scored 35.7%. That's compared to the district's 82.1% overall.

"We realize that discrepancy is there," said Columbia Public Schools AVID Program Director Shanna Dale, "economic disadvantage does not nessacarily equate to academic achievement."

The differance is test scores is one of the reasons why CPS will offer a new program in all middle and high schools this school year. The program is called Advancement Via Individual Determination or AVID, and it aims to help kids who are capable but need a little extra support.

"We want to change the culture of our students. We want them to believe that college is a viable option for them," said Dale.

Educators point out that while college readiness is helpful, problems with poverty affect children's education long before they're even thinking about higher education. Hunger, not having enough clothes, and other issues can make focusing in class difficult. Last year almost 40% of CPS students qualified for free and reduced lunch, a key indicator of poverty. Columbia schools team up with the food bank and other organizations to try and help, but they can't fix everything.

"One of the main things that I see here is transportation," said CPS Home-School Communicator Tara Collier. "Transportation is a big issue, getting to a lot of school functions."

Clifton knows from experience that kids who grow up in poverty face challenges in getting an education, but she also says fighting for that education is worth it.

"It's very, very, very, very overwhelming. It's overwhelming, but it's possible," she said.

Clifton's advice to students in poverty who want to go to college is to apply for scholarships. She found growing up below the poverty line was actually a benefit when filling out those applications, and she got almost all of her undergraduate studies paid for.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The incoming freshmen at Blair Oaks High School will become the first class to not have a... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:59:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Angela Speck, the director of astronomy at the University of Missouri, gave a presentation titled, "Doing Science in... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
PIKE COUNTY, Mo. - A man was charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action after Alexander Koch died... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With mid-Missouri preparing for the upcoming eclipse on Monday, Laws Observatory played host to an event made to... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:18:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former school bus driver in eastern Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:58:58 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the eclipse nearly here, crews in Jefferson City were busy preparing for festivities Saturday. On... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in Eclipse Planning
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Confederate memorial in Kansas City was vandalized with graffiti overnight. Local media show someone... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 12:41:00 PM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's child abuse hotline now accepts out-of-state calls. First lady Sheena Greitens said she learned... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:06:17 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri will host and sponsor numerous events this weekend leading up to Monday’s total solar... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:58:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
CHAFFEE (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing murder conspiracy charges for allegedly trying to hire a hit man... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:55:54 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — In towns and cities along the path of the solar eclipse, some school districts are seizing... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:47:03 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters will be hitting the street with their boots in their hands. Columbia Fire Department will... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Seth MacVittie, 36, of Fulton, is under investigation of escape from the Callaway County Jail Friday. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:07:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - The man shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon has... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: The suspect is now in custody and was processed in the Boone County Jail Friday evening. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
5am 68°
6am 67°
7am 68°
8am 71°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30a
Wild About Animals
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Open House
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Gymnastics
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
Cliffhanger
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld