On Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, three local school Districts joined forces to provide training for all instructional staff in working with children of poverty. Dr. Rita Pierson, with the Aha Process, Inc. educational consulting group, was the speaker for Orangefield ISD, Bridge City ISD, and Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD teachers. According to the Aha website, the central goal of the company is educating people about the differences that separate economic classes and then teaching them skills to bridge those gulfs.

Traditionally, those three of the five school districts in Orange County have not had a high rate of children from poverty enrolled in their schools. With the down turn in the economy, those statistics have grown dramatically over the past five to ten years. There is a marked difference between the success rate of children of poverty and those who are more secure economically.

Dr. Pierson addressed the differences in experiences and resources between a child growing up in a middle class household and those of a child of poverty, stressing that money is not the only difference between the two. Many interpersonal traits come into play, and teachers need additional strategies to help those children be successful.

For additional information on the impact of poverty on learning, read “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” by Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D., of Aha Process, Inc. You may also want to visit the website at www.ahaprocess.com.

Attached Photo, clockwise from bottom right – Dr. Rita Pierson – consultant, and Superintendents Dr. Pauline Hargrove – LCM CISD, Dr. Stephen Patterson – Orangefield ISD, and Mr. Mike King – Bridge City ISD.