poverty

Math
3:49 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

There's a real lack of math learning in pre-K. In one study, in fact, just 58 seconds out of a full preschool day was spent on math activities.
Kaylhew Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:01 pm

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.

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Cities
3:01 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Group Details Burdens on Connecticut Cities

Connecticut cities in CCM's latest report.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

An advocacy group for Connecticut's cities and towns is calling attention to what it describes as the disproportionate burdens on poor communities. 

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Wellness
1:37 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Hartford Surgeon Discusses Disproportionate Barriers to Health

Dr. Nissin Nahmias.
Credit vcu.edu

Though all people and communities deserve equal opportunities to be healthy, there are many barriers to good health in communities across the U.S. Low-income communities, particularly those of color, face a disproportionate number of barriers.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford co-hosts a town hall meeting on Tuesday titled, "Is Food Making Us Sick? A Conversation About Food and Our Health" with a panel of experts who will talk about food and health. WNPR's Diane Orson spoke with bariatric surgeon Dr. Nissin Nahmias, whose work centers on people struggling with obesity.

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New York
3:49 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

A Concert With Jay-Z (And India's Leader) Aims To End Poverty

John Mayer sings to tens of thousands at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. The event is part of an effort to end extreme poverty.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 1:55 pm

Tomorrow in Central Park, Jay-Z will rap, Sting will sing and India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, will talk about the need to end open defecation — that's what they call it when people don't have access to toilets, and it's a huge global problem.

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Wealth Gap
5:55 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

One in Seven Connecticut Children Living in Poverty

Credit Lance Neilson

The rate of child poverty in Connecticut held steady in 2013, from the year before. But that stabilization follows a huge rise in the last decade. One in seven children in the state lives in a poor family. 

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The Wealth Gap
7:27 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Young People, Minorities Watching Wages Stagnate in Recovery

Most workers in Connecticut have not seen a real wage increase in over a decade.

Income inequality is getting greater in Connecticut as the recovery continues. That’s the message from a new report which says the state needs to use tax policy to help poorer families catch up. 

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Food Industry
6:48 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Can Oxfam Nudge Big Food Companies To Do Right?

A campaign called Behind The Brands, led by Oxfam International, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible to consumers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 3:02 pm

It's not always easy to connect the dots between the food we consume and the people who grow it, or the impact of growing and processing that food on the health of our planet.

But a campaign called Behind the Brands, led by Oxfam International, an advocacy organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible.

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Rethinking Poverty
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on Aug. 21.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

This Is Your Brain on Poverty

Neil Conway Creative Commons

A recent poll from the the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that poverty leads to stress, affecting people’s ways of thinking and their overall health. In our region, researchers and doctors have found that living in poverty can actually hinder brain development.

This hour, we learn more about the psychology of poverty and find out what’s being done to combat some of the the stresses it brings on. We also talk to one researcher who has been looking at the impact of noise pollution on the brain development of children in low-income communities.

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Equitable Opportunity
9:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

A rooftop view of East Baltimore, 1979.
Elinor Cahn Courtesy of Elinor Cahn Photographs, The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

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Television
3:39 am
Tue August 5, 2014

From 'Good Times' To 'Honey Boo Boo': Who Is Poor On TV?

The Evans family from Good Times. Bern Nadette Stanis is second from left.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:47 am

Like it or not, television has the power to shape our perceptions of the world. So what do sitcoms, dramas and reality TV say about poor people?

In life and on TV, "poor" is relative. Take breakfast: For Honey Boo Boo's family, it's microwaved sausage and pancake sandwiches; for children in The Wire's Baltimore ghetto, it's a juice box and a bag of chips before school; and on Good Times, set in the Chicago projects back in the 1970s, it was a healthier choice: oatmeal.

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Child Poverty
8:30 am
Wed July 23, 2014

New Study Reveals Marked Increase in Connecticut Children Living In Poverty

Wade Gibson, director of Connecticut Voices for Children's Fiscal Policy Center.
Credit Ray Hardman / WNPR

The number of Connecticut children living in poverty has increased 50 percent since 1990, according to a new report.

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War on Poverty
6:39 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

To Break Cycle Of Child Poverty, Teaching Mom And Dad To Get Along

Brittiny Spears, 26, is not with the father of her daughter, Zykeiria, 4. "He just still wanted to go out and party and be a little boy," Spears says.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:52 am

After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.

"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Springfield Mayor Renews Call For Moratorium On Refugee Resettlements

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:22 pm

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:33 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Young Black Men Pay a Hefty Price

David Canton is an associate professor of History at Connecticut College
Chion Wolf

President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's called "My Brother's Keeper," and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the  problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's  mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back. 

This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will  help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:16 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Connecticut Is the Land of Plenty, for Some

Lucy Nolan is the Executive Director of EndHungerCT
Chion Wolf

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of thoughts about food today but they won't be about how to get some. It will be about what you want for lunch and what you feel like having for dinner.

You might have an argument with yourself about whether you can afford to eat a snack or dessert, but to you the word "afford" has to do with your weight and your waistline.

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Guilty and Charged
5:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons

After spending three weeks in jail because he couldn't afford his court debt, Papa lost his job at a small steel plant. He has since found a job as a security guard.
Grant Hindsley for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:31 am

Debtors prisons were outlawed in the United States nearly 200 years ago. And more than 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: Judges cannot send people to jail just because they are too poor to pay their court fines.

That decision came in a 1983 case called Bearden v. Georgia, which held that a judge must first consider whether the defendant has the ability to pay but "willfully" refuses.

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Public Defenders
4:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:23 pm

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Guilty and Charged
8:38 am
Tue May 20, 2014

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

The proliferation of court fees has prompted some states, like New Jersey, to use amnesty programs to encourage the thousands of people who owe fines to surrender in exchange for fee reductions. At the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, makeshift courtrooms allow judges to individually handle each case.
Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:02 am

In Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.

In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.

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Guilty and Charged
6:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees.

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Law
7:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Court User Fees Bill Defendants For Their Punishment

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 3:27 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Courts have found a new source of funding. They charge user fees to defendants who use the criminal justice system.

These extra charges can add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars per person on a felony or a simple misdemeanor like a driving offense. NPR has spent the last year looking at the growing practice. NPR investigative correspondent Joseph Shapiro is here to talk about the series. Joe, good to have you.

JOE SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Thank you, Lynn.

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Health Disparity
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Smoking Rates Decline in Connecticut, But Striking Disparities Persist By County

Credit Marius Mellebye / Creative Commons

Although smoking rates in Connecticut decreased between 1996 and 2012, striking disparities persist among counties, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Raising the Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage will put more money on the plates of those who need it most
Credit Tax Credits / Creative Commons

Minimum wage in Connecticut is higher than the federal minimum, $8.70 an hour instead of $7.25. In fact, the federal minimum is so ridiculously low that not many people are earning it. Maybe as few as 1.5 million, according to one study. 

So, what happens if it goes up to $10.10 an hour here, or less likely, nationally. Some minimum wage workers will tell you that is still ridiculously low, $15 an hour is more like it. And, there are movements to help fast food workers bargain collectively for that kind of raise.

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Minimum Wage
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

Reverend Samuel Saylor of Hartford spoke at a rally outside the Connecticut State Capitol last May to support raising the minimum wage.
Credit Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama will be in Connecticut on Wednesday with four governors to push for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

The increase is controversial, but what might actually happen if it goes up? Increasing the minimum wage is a contested political issue, but it's also an economic question that can be studied.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Broccoli is Best!

Credit whologwy, Flickr Creative Commons

Somehow, kale has become trendy in the last few years, although its moment in the sun seems to be almost over. How did a thing like that happen? Would it be possible to infuse an old standby like broccoli with a similar hip panache? Broccoli is the warmest vegetable, and the coolest.

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Poverty
3:50 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

LBJ's War on Poverty Sidetracked by Politics, Economics

President Lyndon B. Johnson on his poverty tour on May 7, 1964 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Credit Cecil Stoughton / LBJ Library Photos

Fifty years ago in his state of the union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty." Today, there are still 50 million people in poverty in the U.S. But Yale Historian Jennifer Klein said that number doesn't mean Johnson's war was a failure.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

War on Poverty is Far From Won

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Credit LBJ Library

Just over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address and made a pledge to the nation. "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he said.

Johnson didn't live long enough to see the end of the War on Poverty...and neither have we. Poverty continues to be a big problem in the United States and right here in Connecticut.

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Homelessness
8:27 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Visiting Hartford's Homeless Population

A dormitory-style home in a truck trailer in Hartford.
Credit Susan Campbell

Frequent WNPR guest and former Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell rode along with the Hartford Homeless Outreach Team early on Thursday morning. She works for Partnership for Strong Communities, which is working to end homelessness.

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Data
10:13 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Incomes Across Connecticut: Poorest in City Centers; Flush in Fairfield County

Credit WNYC

An interactive map showing median household incomes in neighborhoods across the U.S. shows that Connecticut is poorest in its urban centers, and wealthiest in Fairfield County. The numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, assembled elegantly by the data news team at WNYC.

Food Assistance
3:11 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Food Pantry Demand Linked to Benefit Cuts

Federal stimulus funds that supported SNAP benefits ran out on November 1, and area food pantries have seen an increase in demand.
Credit Rick Reinhard / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see rising numbers of people in need of food assistance. Nancy Carrington is president of the Connecticut Food Bank. She said though there’s been slight improvement in job growth in the state, its not affecting people at the lower end of the pay scale.

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