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Educator's Corner Opinion

What educators do to ensure success of less fortunate pupils

Many of school-age pupils in our city live in poverty. You do not have to teach in a squatter’s area or a depressed or far-flung public school to see pupils who are from a poor family.

The lives of poor pupils are often very different from those of their more wealthy pupils. They cannot look forward to experience a school celebration on their birthdays. Back-to-school shopping is not an exciting time of new clothes and school supplies. Even single coins of money are significant to pupils living in poverty. School uniforms, every day baons, PTA contributions, a yearbook or a picture for graduation, or a fee for a field trip may be out of their reach. In addition, because they do not wear the same trendy clothes as their classmates, poor students are often the target of bully children.

Indigent students have a very difficult time succeeding in school. One of the most unfortunate results of their economic struggles is that pupils who live in poverty often drop out of school, to work to feed their hungry stomach.

Despite the depressing view for many of these pupils, teachers who really have the heart for these pupils can do a great deal to make school a meaningful experience and a make a school a haven for them. School staff and administrators can be great help pupils who live in poverty by implementing of the tested ways that we, in Pinget Elementary, are doing:
* Strengthen dropout rate reduction measures, which include scholarship programs to less fortunate pupils.
* Have an active Guidance Program that listens to disadvantaged pupils. They need a strong relationship with a trustworthy adult in order to succeed.
* Have a feeding program that is sponsored by civic oriented groups
* Do a regular gift giving specially on school supplies.
* Intensify Alternative Delivery Mode to these indigent and less fortunate pupils.
* Strengthen parent-teacher partnership and home visitations
* Work to boost the self-esteem of students who live in poverty by praising their school success instead of what they own.
* Be very sensitive to the potential for embarrassment in even small requests for or comments about money that you make. For example, if you jokingly remark, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” you could embarrass one of your low-income students.

Explain to them always that you value all of your students for their character and not for their possession and that education is the only weapon to defeat of poverty, that’s why they should value education. BREMINDA A. SADLAY, (Pinget Elementary School)

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