Generational Poverty! Sometimes it is more than just having a job or not having a job!
I want you to think for a moment..
Pretend your the teacher of a 3rd grade class. And you have 18 students. Everyone of your students is white,live in a small rural area and has at least one employed parent. Most parents work at the local factory or in some capacity with the town. All kids are on a fairly even footing.. no major problems right? Except you have this group among the children who are all related in some form or another.. Cousins,sisters or brothers. And all seem to really lag behind in education. Never come to school ready to participate in school work. Often showing up with either broken pencils or no paper and their clothes are clean but still stink of either pet urine or cigarette smoke. After several months of these kids missing classes or them being late frequently or worse yet showing up on time and never having the homework or materials to do work with... You start being a bit upset with Jimmy and Jessica and cousin Erica. All the other kids tease them and these three tend to get into fights alot and never take any blame for what happened. So you tend to be a bit sarcastic to them.. Saying things like "Well if you brought your own pencils you could do your work." or "Well if you didn't forget your homework all the time you could have recess time"
But now lets pretend that Little Jimmy and Jessica and cousin Erica all live in homes with greatly distressed families where they never have a new pencil and are fighting with the kids at school cause they are stealing the other children's pencils so they can do the work and these kids live with alcoholic parents who when they are angry lash out at the kids by ripping up that homework and breaking their pencils that they legitimately did do.. And where since mommy spent the grocery money on 2 big bottles of Jack Daniels for her and the current step daddy to drink.. Jimmy and Jessica and cousin Erica haven't eaten a dinner all week.
So they have a hard time getting to sleep at night when their stomach's are hungry. And mom can't get on welfare cause she can't read the documentation requirements as she never really learned how to read very well. And as a pride thing she won't ask for them to help her.. SO she gets denied time and again because she doesn't meet the guidelines. So there aren't any food stamps to fix their food problems..
Step-dad has a great job but since he technically lives and receives his mail at his mom's house 6 miles away.. He isn't being reported as living in the home anyhow.
And lastnight the kids ended up being woken up around 1am due to a physical fight between mom and step-dad. The fight was over who should Pawn what to get more money for booze. Step-dad got taken to the county jail until court for beating mom up. Mom didn't call the nosey neighbor called when she looked out the hallway door in their apartment to see step-dad pushing mom out the door and kicking her in the butt as she fell into the wall.. Mom is now mad at her neighbors for butting into a "family matter" Mom now is searching for a way to come up with the bail to spring step-dad until court.
So now that you have a few details about what these 3 kids go through... Is there any question to you why they can't really fully focus on their homework? Does that pencil you've been snotty to them about really mean anything in the grand scheme of things in these kid's situation?
These 3 children are living in what is called GENERATIONAL POVERTY.. They want to learn.. However the much bigger issues in their real life are making it very difficul to try to really care about some guy named Marco Polo.. As far as they are concerned the only Marco Polo that they know of is the game they played at the local pool last summer.
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