Poverty is a vicious cycle.
And we don’t use the word “vicious” lightly.
And when it affects children, and it most certainly does in the Mountain State, we can’t allow a word like “vicious” to be taken lightly. And considering that 30 percent of children under the age of 6 live in poverty in West Virginia, we have got to do more than just collect figures and data. We have to look at the problem and determine how best to deal with it.
Impoverished children often don’t have the support system in place they need to succeed in school or in extracurricular activities. That lack of success not only limits opportunities for advanced training or education needed to start careers, but it also serves as a deterrent from graduating from high school.
With no training or degree, the cycle continues for so many. Children are brought into the equation through teen pregnancy, who are many times left to be raised by grandparents on fixed incomes or single parents not even living paycheck to paycheck.
And unfortunately, that sometimes leads to desperation. Substance abuse, domestic incidents, violence and crime occur at a much higher rate for those living below the poverty line.
And considering that the state of West Virginia pays $23,674 per inmate incarcerated per year, we say the system is a little upside down.
If we combat the issue of childhood poverty now then the soaring and overwhelming cost of incarcerations will eventually decline.
Kids need a chance. We need to invest in our children.
We believe that is starting to happen in our state. Six months ago, the Healthy Kids and Family Coalition started the “Our Children, Our Future: Campaign to End Child Poverty.” The problem is that impoverished families and children don’t have high-paid lobbyists or voices to speak on heir behalf. And when it comes to cuts in budgetary line items, the cuts often come from programs that help needy families with day care, after-school care or health programs.
Volunteers and representatives from programs that help children in poverty met this week to discuss the issues. There’s a forum planned for March in Fairmont when those organizations will speak on behalf of the children and ask for the support of state lawmakers.
“The strength of this is that it’s everybody coming together,” said Stephen Smith, director of the Healthy Kids and Family Coalition. “It was a really lively conversation, and I think ultimately it was a productive one.
“It took a generation for us to get to the mess that we’re in,” he said. “All of these things are in front of us, and if we only work for the next two months it will be a nice little project, but the real question is can we keep this kind of momentum.”
We certainly hope so. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Our village has to be willing to to stop this vicious cycle of poverty and invest money when it could have an impact — early childhood — and spend less resources when it’s too late.
Poverty is a vicious cycle.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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