Poverty Impacts Education in Columbia

4 years 3 months 2 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
KLIEVER - Deputies discovered stolen property in the woods near Kliever, Missouri. Police said they were alerted to the... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:39:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Jefferson City - While the Republican Congress in Washington is working on a plan to overhaul the country's tax system,... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:18:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri hit a major fundraising milestone, announcing Wednesday it reached the $1 billion mark. ... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:08:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Miller County man with failing to comply with sex offender registration for a third... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:44:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The growth of Columbia Regional Airport is set to take another step forward Wednesday morning. Mayor Brian... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:04:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - SWAT teams broke in to a home on Fir Place following a standoff early Wednesday, but did not... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:55:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For people in jail, it's sometimes difficult to get together the funds to bail out. That's where... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Republican Roy Moore, beset by allegations of sexual misconduct, lost his bid to become a senator.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:30:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - An abandoned car caught fire Tuesday at the intersection of East Broadway and South Rolling Hills Road.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation was underway Tuesday after a man's death and a vehicle fire. Foul play was... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 2018 Jefferson City council elections only have one contested seat: 5th Ward Council member. Incumbent... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a coalition promoting sign ups for the Affordable Care Act, held an open-enrollment event at the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are still investigating the death of Augustus Roberts, the man found dead at a home in the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) went live with a new Tele-ICU technology on Tuesday. Tele-ICU... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Troopers arrested a man on Tuesday after a high-speed chase which started south of Ashland and ended in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:38:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:37:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
1am 36°
2am 34°
3am 32°
4am 30°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
Inside Edition
12:00a
King of the Hill
12:30a
Cops
1:00a
Top 30

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld