and its relation to schools.
Poverty and culture.
Is there a culture of poverty? Rather than a culture of poverty (which implies passivity of poor people), we should perhaps think of "the culture of the poor" (Jeremy Seabrook, The Guardian). What is a culture of poverty? It is a behavior that is transmitted from generation to generation, because the family structure is weak and they transmit these values over and over again. How do we change the culture? We need to look within the family and identify this behavior that keeps them in poverty.
Poverty and its relation to schools
The issue of poverty is ever present in American society, all you have to do is look at our schools and you will be shocked to find out the amount of poor children that attend American schools. A while a go I worked as a paraprofessional at a Title 1 school in Houston. A Title 1 school is a public school where about 85 percent of the students are children that come from families that live below the poverty level, and get free or reduced lunch. I saw students that came to school with dirty clothes because they did not have enough money for the laundry mats. There were children who were on the move constantly as a result of eviction because their parents did not pay the rent. I saw hungry children, and sometimes the only meals these children ate were the ones they ate at school. They would go home unattended because their parents were working two jobs, that meant no help with homework. Most of the time these children did not do homework because of the lack of supervision, and sometimes they had no electricity or they lived in a overcrowded place with no space to do homework. At this point it is fair to say that with so much adversity that these children have to face, is no wonder their academic performance is very low. I believe in some instances that they simply give up. They have no motivation, and are resistant to education. Many of these children prefer to get a job once they become of age, thus dropping out of school. Perhaps the alternative seems like a better choice because they think that education is not going to do anything for them.
The impact that poverty has on an individual child is a serious issue, and it must be addressed in America today.