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.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives