More than 16 million children are poor — they are still the age group suffering the most poverty. And there are more than 7.1 million children living in extreme poverty — below $9,142 for a three-person family. Yet 57,000 fewer children will receive Head Start this fall than the year before, a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start, which increases a child’s school readiness, could be just the program needed to get future generations out of poverty.
As desolate a picture as this paints, we can each do our part to help. Give to United Way to support the programs that provide services to those living in poverty. Attend this luncheon with proceeds going to our area food pantries. Join the Sisters of St. Francis and speak up — be the voice for those who have lost theirs. Join with us to create a world that provides respect and dignity for all of God’s creatures.
Sister Anne Martin Phelan,
Sister Anne Martin Phelan is president of the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton.