One Sure-Fire Solution to Poverty

One Sure-Fire Solution to Poverty

Posted on June 12, 2016

KEITH CARLSON, PASTOR OF OUTREACH AND CARE
 
Poverty is a complex cultural phenomenon that has been with humankind as long as societies have gathered together. Many well-meaning and brilliant people have applied their best intentions and thinking to address issues of poverty over the centuries. Often the Church has taken the lead in compassionate action, sometimes at great sacrifice.  Yet billions of people worldwide still live in poverty today, and hundreds of thousands right here in Indiana. It’s tempting to become fatalistic, cynical or skeptical. 
 
But that’s not our response as followers of Christ.  As long as there are people living in poverty within our scope of influence, we cannot do nothing.
 
One very simple, and yet profoundly effective anti-poverty strategy is reading. You read right, simply reading. Studies have repeatedly shown that children growing up in poverty have less exposure to reading, parents reading out loud to them, and books in general than children growing up in the middle or wealthy classes. That gap shows up in elementary school, and particularly by third grade if children are not reading comfortably, they are at much greater risk of falling behind in all of their studies and eventually not finishing high school. 
 
Early intervention from kindergarten through the third grade is key. Oftentimes children are not able to get the individual attention they need in school because of the demanding and complicated burdens teachers are already carrying, nor at home because of the stress parents are experiencing living in poverty. Supplemental one-on-one reading weekly for just one hour is a proven, effective, simple solution that yields immediate results.
 
Grace has been sending volunteer tutors and readers for years to Shepherd Community Center, IPS School 58, and Westfield and Carmel elementary schools. High school students and adults spend one hour with a student who has been identified as falling behind in their reading ability. Over the course of a school year the reading tutor and student develop a great relationship and oftentimes see dramatic improvement in the reading ability of the student. 
 
One hour a week is all it takes. And a little attention. And a willingness to read lots of books! Think about it over the summer. You can make a huge difference in a child’s life. And then sign up for Whiz Kids in the fall.
 
Here is where you can sign up:
Click here to sign up for Whiz Kids!

Comments

Posted by Gabriela on June 15, 2016 @ 5:41 pm