Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 1:46:21 PM

Local News

Print Friendly | Bookmark and Share

The Consequences of Binghamton's Childhood Poverty

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

42 percent of children in Binghamton live in poverty, compared to 23 percent nationwide. That means thousands of kids in Binghamton are dealing with what Dr. Lisa Blitz calls toxic stress.

The head of BU's Share Program, which promotes healthy students and safe schools, says the constant lack of resources leads to physiological damage to children's development.

"Short-term memory, our decision making, our emotional stability, our impulse control, all of these are impacted by all these floods of neuro chemicals when people are under tremendous stress," said Blitz.

Blitz says impoverished parents can often only do so much to lessen the level of stress.

"Financially poor people tend to live in communities that are financially poor. So you can only do so much to protect your child and your family from what's hapenning around. And that's why it's so important that schools and communities come together around this," said Blitz.

"First and foremost we try to create a safe, secure environment for children and give them as much comfort as possible," said Dr. Marion H. Martinez, Superintendent of Binghamton City Schools.

Binghamton Schools offer free breakfasts and lunches to students, with some schools also providing access to a health-care clinic. The district also partners with community organizations to provide food and supplies.

"We are trying to deal with their social/emotional needs and with their academic needs. And hunger is one of the biggest issues," said Martinez.

"It's difficult to focus on the daily instruction of a teacher when your mind is thinking about what you're going to eat or if there are scarce resources as far as food," said BU SHARE Program Social Work Supervisor Carla Murray.

Martinez says the impact of poverty on children's educational development can be seen early.

"Those children who come into us as three-year-olds, four-year-olds, five-year-olds are immediately academically behind," said Martinez.

Martinez says by the age of four children in poverty have been exposed to just half the number of words middle-class children have, and not quite 30 percent of words upper-middle-class kids have.

"It will have dire consequences. That's why when you look at the cost to incarcerate an inmate on a yearly basis, if we could just transfer that money to early childhood education and invest and front load it instead of dealing with the ramifications of it," said Martinez.

"I hope that it heightens people's sensibilities that  there's an issue that really needs to be addressed and we need to tackle as a community," said Murray.

Friday night we'll look at a school whose student body has a childhood poverty rate of almost 90 percent, and some success stories despite those numbers.

****In Binghamton, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News.****

VIEW VIDEO

View Related Articles: Binghamton, Broome County or comment on this one below.

blog comments powered by Disqus


Back Back

News system programming and website hosting by EFX internet  EFX internet


Additional Articles


Lockheed Martin to Develop Storm Damage Location Technology VIEW VIDEO
More jobs could be coming to the Lockheed Martin Owego facility.   Lockheed Martin is hoping to develop a new $300,000 system that could locate damages after major storms. The goal is to... more

The Jets Return to Cortland for Training VIEW VIDEO
The rain was pounding when the Jets arrived in Cortland Wednesday afternoon. But, not even the downpour of rain could keep these Jets fans from greeting their team. "We love the jets here, you... more

City Council Agrees on Binghamton Comprehensive Plan VIEW VIDEO
After two years of planning, the city council comes to an agreement tonight on the Blueprint Binghamton. There were six "eyes" and zero "nays" in votes tonight -- which means the comprehensive... more

TSA Officials Talk Prohibited Items on Airlines VIEW VIDEO
TSA officials were at the Binghamton Airport today to talk about prohibited items that people bring to airport checkpoints. TSA's Lisa Farbstein says that many people may carry these items on... more

Binghamton Fire Department Promotion Ceremony VIEW VIDEO
Five Binghamton firefighters were promoted this afternoon during a ceremony at the Binghamton Fire Department Headquarters.   Mayor Rich David joined Fire Chief Daniel Thomas in hosting the... more

Aaron Powell Murder Trial: Day 7 VIEW VIDEO
Today prosecution wrapped up final witness testimony in the Aaron Powell murder trial. Aaron Powell is accused of killing his estranged wife, Christina Powell, and her friend, Mario Masciarelli, in... more

Residents Spot Military Tank On Front Street VIEW VIDEO
It was an odd sight Wednesday across from a local restaurant...when a large military tank was temporarily roadside. The tank seemed large and out of place across from the Spot Restaurant on Front... more

Click here for more local news...icon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 A News Story

If you are looking for a copy of a news story that we recently aired, simply click here to find out how.

Breaking News

Do you have a tip or information about a breaking news story? Contact the FOX 40 News Desk at 607.798.0070 or send us an email .




ADVERTISEMENT

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It More...