Poverty Impacts Education in Columbia

4 years 8 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
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Checking the phone constantly, surfing Facebook first thing in the morning or right before bed, playing games like... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:58:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The UM Board of Curators voted Monday to increase tuition by up to 2.1 percent for the 2018-2019... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Students will leave class early on Tuesday as the 2017-2018 Academic Year comes to a close. The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:28:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a boating crash that left three dead and two injured... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:20:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never impeached a governor, but that could change in 2018. Tuesday, the House of Representatives... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -Utility workers began surveying land on Clark Lane for a sidewalk project designed to improve community safety. "The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 12:00:47 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 11:40:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is planning a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 10:44:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say a man's body was found in southeast Missouri and the case appears to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 8:48:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – With a new terminal on the way, comes more possible changes to Columbia Regional Airport. A public... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:55:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council will address an ordinance Monday on whether to approve of a special August election... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:41:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The city of Rocheport honored two men on Sunday whose legacy has stretched across the state of Missouri.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:09:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the 16th annual Fire Fighters Memorial Service on Sunday. The service was... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking to social media to spread awareness of National Safe Boating Week... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
3am 68°
4am 67°
5am 67°
6am 66°