Why I Work With the 99% Part One: The Children

To understand this series’ inception, read A Response

Each week day, I walk into a classroom full of children from the so-called dregs of society: these are the poor, the helpless, the forgotten.  As I guide them through the day, using principles of love and logic, I think about what many have been through–sexual, verbal, and physical abuse; multiple fathers, and occasionally mothers; foster care; and, the worst, being disregarded in a privileged society.

As the debates continue on Capitol Hill, I wonder how many of them have visited schools like mine, the Head Starts around the country, where the teachers, social workers, and supervisors are doing their best to freely give love to those who have been neglected and cast off from traditional society.  In these centers, we, the employees, are overworked, underpaid, yet happy to help the people who really need it–the kids.  Despite the choices of their parents, who are often making the same choices their parents made, these children deserve the best.  But do you know what they get? The worst. Funding is cut. News analysts suggest that they aren’t “really poor,” and that they “have it better than the middle class,” and should probably be blamed for the economic crisis in our country.

With some kids in my class wearing shoes two sizes too small even though they have parents working two jobs or a single mom doing her damnedest to keep food on the table, they should be blamed for their problems.  I mean, they have refrigerators! (Click on the link above to hear the reference.) With many privileged people criticizing the poor, I wonder what their definition of poor is and what they would do without, or let their children do without, before they, also, occupied Wall Street or applied for government assistance.

If you want to blame adults, go ahead.  But please, please, remember the children.  More than anything, they deserve what they may never have the opportunity to receive.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Social Issues

4 responses to “Why I Work With the 99% Part One: The Children

  1. I am glad that you are working with these kids. You have always had such a good way with kids. You are able to lead them, in a way where they are learning and having fun. YOU are a great young mother. You can have this opportunity to share your love with many families. I love you, and I understand the pressures you are feeling. I have been thinking a lot about you. I would love to come spend some time with you and we could just have long talks. You have to know that all the great qualities you possess, do not go away with a loss of faith. And true friends will always be there for the tough times. I love you Amber,

  2. This is so true, Amber. I think the truth of poverty and neglect in our country is completely glossed over. Children aren’t naked and starving to death, no. But they are barely clothed and uninsured and hungry and the light of no one’s life. That’s not how our nation’s children should live. That shouldn’t happen in the first world.

  3. Janae

    are you at Head Start? Such a great program I worked there a few years back, loved it! I was a Family Service Specialist so I was in the kids homes working with the whole family, so fun and rewarding!

  4. I work with adults with developmental disabilities and we just got big cuts, too. It’s sad, really. These individuals need so much more care and yet the money keeps getting cut. The employee conditions worsens, too, which in turn, makes turnover increase and the quality of people drawn to the job, lowered. This decline in quality of employees only means a drop in quality these individuals receive ON TOP of budget cuts in their day programs and living environments.