Child Well-Being/Poverty

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Child Well-Being/Poverty’s Impact on Education

Dr. Garry McGiboney, Deputy Superintendent, External Affairs and Policy, Georgia Department of Education, discusses Child Well Being Issues at the Georgia Partnership’s annual Media Symposium. Check out McGiboney’s presentation (17 minute mark).

Another subject that is gaining more attention is a child’s overall well-being when he or she comes to school.  There are many factors that can detract from the ability to learn… hunger, family dysfunction, physical and mental health issues as well as poverty. We will be posting reports/stories that will hopefully provide visitors new insights.  Inclusion here does not indicate Georgia Partnership support of particular research.

Check these Georgia organizations focused on child well-being related issues
Chris 180Communities in Schools GeorgiaGeorgia AppleseedGeorgia Department of Early Care and Learning/Bright from the StartGeorgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS)Georgia Family Connection PartnershipGet Georgia Reading and Georgia Summer Resources for ParentsUnited Way of Greater Atlanta – Child Well-being IndexVoices for Georgia’s Children

The April 2016 Georgia Partnership Critical Issues Forum was devoted to child well-being issues: “The Impact of Wellness on Education.” Here is the video report.



State Child Care Plan Makes Headway for Student Parents, Access Remains Limited
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Georgia officials are considering a plan for child care assistance that proposes improvements that can help families, but still doesn’t include enough money to fulfill its promise. (June 1)

Growing Up in Rural America
Save the Children

Across America, the experiences shaping children’s lives are starkly different. Many children are getting the daily opportunities to learn and develop that they need, as well as an abundance of healthy food on their tables, and regular chances to play safely and grow their imaginations. But for far too many other children, families and communities are struggling to provide them the childhoods they deserve, and our next generation is not nearly prepared to succeed in life. Related story – Georgia specific. (May 31)

Summer for Georgia Readers Begins Today
Get Georgia Reading

You can read anywhere, anytime, and virtually anything this summer, because Get Georgia Reading partner myON by Renaissance is delivering thousands of free books to your computer and mobile devices that you can access 24 hours a day—every day—now through Aug. 31. (May 14)

Out of Poverty Into the Middle Class
Hechinger Report

As automation disrupts the labor market and good middle class jobs disappear, schools are struggling to provide students with future-proof skills. (April 21)

An Analysis of Georgia’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Workforce
Voices for Georgia’s Children

The behavioral health needs of children and adolescents are often unmet or undermet in our state. Press releaseFact sheet.  Related story. (January 23)


The Commission on Children’s Mental Health
As Presented to Gov. Nathan Deal

This report offers eight recommendations for improving state mental health supports for children.  They focus on critical areas of behavioral health needs including suicide prevention, school-based mental health and telemedicine infrastructure. Press release. (December 12)

Tackle Poverty’s Effects to Improve School Readiness
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Seventy percent of Georgia school district leaders say poverty is the most significant out-of-school issue that limits student learning. Related story. (December 11)

For Foster Care Kids, College Degrees are Elusive

Only 20 percent of foster kids who graduate from high school end up going to college, compared with 60 percent of high school graduates overall. (December 10)

Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America
Voice of Youth County

The first in a series of research briefs on understanding and addressing youth homelessness. Related story. (November 20)

New map shows child care discrepancies in Atlanta

The new ATL ACCESS tool details child care options across the five-county metro Atlanta area.  Want to know how many child care centers are in a certain area? Howe about the median income for a particular area? Click here. (November 16)

Race for Results – Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children
Annie E. Casey Foundation

This Kids Count policy report explores the intersection of kids, race, and opportunity. It features the new Race for Results index which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. Georgia. (October 24)

An alarming trend: Premature births up in Georgia
Georgia Health News

Georgia’s preterm birth rate rose in 2016 after several years of decline, a disturbing trend that is mirrored by national data.  Preterm babies are more likely to face learning issues later in life. (October 18)

Educators Employ Strategies to Help Kids With Anxieties Return to School

Many families are faced with children who just don’t want to go to school.  It is a daily battle.  Perhaps this goes beyond a touch of truancy. (October 17)

Policy Statement to Support the Alignment of Health and Early Learning Systems
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Education

The purpose of this Policy Statement is to support states and communities in their efforts to better coordinate, align and enhance health and early learning systems to promote the healthy development, early learning and well being of all children from birth to kindergarten entry in the U.S. (September 23)

Social & Emotional Learning: Looking Back, Aiming Forward

Social emotional learning holds great potential for improving learning and college and career-ready outcomes for all students. Introduction.(August 23)

School systems putting more focus on child mental heath issues
Macon Telegraph

“We’re going to need more counselors,” educator says of growing mental health needs of students. (August 4)

Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation’s Schools – An Unprecedented Look at a Hidden Educational Crisis
U.S. Department of Education

This report looks at causes and impacts and looks for solutions.  Is this a child well-being issue?  In many respects, yes.  Related article. (July 28)

Study: With More U.S. Children Living in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, Schools Will See Impact
Rice University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maureen Downey reviews this research study that looks at the rise of children living in high poverty neighborhoods since the great recession – which includes a spike in the number of white kids – and what it means for communities and schools. (July 17)

Out of the Shadows: A State-by-State Ranking of Accountability for Homeless Students
ICPH – Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness

A quality education can be the most important tool in helping children and families lift themselves out of a recurring pattern of housing instability. Introduction. (June 26)

Georgia Ranks 42nd in the Nation for Child Well-Being
Georgia Family Connection Partnership

For the second consecutive year, Georgia ranks 42nd in overall child well-being, while seeing some improvements in economic well-being and education according to the 2017 Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (June 14)

Helping Young Children Who Have Experienced Trauma:  Policies and Strategies for Early Care and Education
Child Trends and National Center for Children in Poverty

This report has recommendations for state policymakers looking to help the millions of young children who’ve been exposed to trauma. They make the point that child care and preschool have great potential as sites for intervention, but early childhood professionals need training and support. Executive summary. (May 11)

Families say hearing aid bill will help with costs
Gwinnett Daily Post

Gov. Deal is set to sign a bill that will help families deal with costs associated with treating the hearing problems of their children.  Left untreated, a child could fall progressively behind in school. (May 8)

How the Quality of School Lunches Affects Student Performance

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The main goal of the law was to raise the minimum nutritional standards for public school lunches served as part of the National School Lunch Program. (May 5)

Ten-Year Trends in Bullying and Related Attitudes Among 4th to 12th Graders
American Academy of Pediatrics

The current study examined the prevalence of bullying and related behaviors between 2005 and 2014 and explored whether any such changes varied across schools or as a function of school-level covariates. Related/Intro. Related articleRelated article. (May 3)

House Bill 145 – Dental hygienists; perform certain functions under general supervision; authorize
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What does this have to do with child well-being? Georgia has 16 counties without a dentist and 35 counties that do not accept Medicaid patients.  How would you like to be a third grader trying to learn when you had a toothache? (April 5)

School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance
University of California

As detailed in this report, economists set out to determine whether healthier school lunches affect student achievement as measured by test scores. Related story. (March 23)

How Do Students’ 3rd Grade Reading Levels Relate to Their ACT/SAT Performance and Chance of Graduating from High School?
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Reading proficiency in 3rd grade is an important educational milestone that is often linked to future academic success.  This is a child well-being issue. (March 22)

Why boosting mental health for the youngest children is attracting federal — and private — investment

A recent parenting class was part of a federally-funded initiative called Project LAUNCH that aims to help parents, preschool teachers, pediatricians and other adults in Adams County boost mental health in young children. (March 10)

You Won’t Believe How Poorly Area Children are Faring
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Subscription may be required.) Research by the United Way of Atlanta and community partners about the state of our children contains much food for thought – some heartening, some down right alarming. (March 7)

Student Mental Health – Time for Action
Georgia Family Connection Partnership

(“Stay Informed” Blog) Georgia students’ mental health is vital to their ability to succeed in school and in life. Check the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s 2017 Top Ten Issues to Watch report (page 46) – Issue 8 Student Mental Health – Time to Take Center Stage. (March 7)

Youth gun violence taking toll on Clayton County
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Subscription may be required.) Can young people effectively learn in the classroom when they often see fellow classmates fall from violence in their neighborhoods?  Clayton officials are looking for answers and help. (January 30)


Learning from Summer – Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Program on Low-Income Urban Youth
The Wallace Foundation

Besides offering evidence on effectiveness, both causal and correlational, the study offers guidance to practitioners on how to increase the benefits of summer learning programs of this kind. Introduction.  Research brief. Related story. (September 7)

A new program will give 100 New York schools extra mental health training

The conversation about infusing New York City schools with mental health services often centers around “community school” programs that pour extra funding into low-performing schools and provide social workers or health clinics. (September 7)

Shortage of school psychologists in Georgia threatens academic and mental health needs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Subscription may be required.) School psychologists in Georgia are struggling to meet the demands of high caseloads due to a severe shortage of professionals in the field. (September 6)

3 Nashville schools to offer laundry services for families

Three Nashville public schools will soon give students and parents without a regular way to do laundry a chance to wash and dry their clothes at school. (September 2)
Earlier relating story:
St. Louis school sees 90% of their students’ attendance increase because of washing machines
Daily KOS

Anybody with kids and anybody without kids who doesn’t own a washing machine knows how much of a bummer washing clothes can be. It’s not cheap, it’s not usually convenient, and when you aren’t able to get clothing washed you can feel pretty awful about yourself. (August 29)

Mental Health in America’s Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students
National Public Radio (Part 1)

You might call it a silent epidemic. one in five kids living in the U.S. show signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year. (September 1)

America After 3 p.m. Special Report: After School in Communities of Concentrated Poverty
Afterschool Alliance

There may be an access gap to after-school programs among low-income families living in areas of concentrated poverty. Executive summary. Related story. (September 1)

Fault Lines – America’s Most Segregating School District Borders

This report explores the most staggering educational fault lines in the country – specifically, the pairs of contiguous districts where the distance between the haves and the have-nots is greater than anywhere else, nationally and within each state. Related story. (August 30)