Poverty Impacts Education in Columbia

4 years 7 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
COLUMBIA - Multiple groups with the city of Columbia hosted a public information meeting Tuesday to discuss short-term rentals, such... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:08:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
NEW YORK — Starbucks, moving swiftly to confront a racially charged uproar over the arrest of two black men... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:05:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate committee heard public hearings Tuesday about a few bills related to expecting mothers and their... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 4:03:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city council approved a petition to downzone properties in the West-Ash neighborhood Monday night, marking the end... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA has a new way to help veterans fight the blues by using the blues. ... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 12:27:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office has turned over evidence to the St. Louis circuit attorney for... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:27:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY— The Latest on allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 12:15 p.m. The leader... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:07:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— The Latest on allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 9:20 a.m. A spokeswoman says... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:05:01 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Tax Day is April 17 this year, and the Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers that scammers are... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:03:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - During popular events like football games and graduation, hotels and short-term rentals are in great demand. One... More >>
3 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:07:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A Jefferson City business owner asked the city council to consider putting a municipal use tax for... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 9:08:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Council voted Monday evening to approve a seven hundred thousand dollar storm drain replacement plan. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 7:49:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in News
ELDON - Rural school districts such as Eldon and Fatima are waiting for funding for better broadband from the Missouri... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in Continuous News
MARIES COUNTY - A motorcycle driver with active warrants for his arrest went over 135 mph and later wrecked his... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - All this week United Way and early childhood educators, students and child care professionals will celebrate the... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 6:22:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the investigation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 3:45... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 5:53:49 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – For the first time in four years, the number of child abuse and neglect reports in Missouri has... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City council will hear a report, Monday night, at its meeting on inclusionary housing and zoning. Inclusionary... More >>
3 days ago Monday, April 16 2018 Apr 16, 2018 Monday, April 16, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT April 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
2pm 61°
3pm 63°
4pm 63°
5pm 63°