HALIFAX, Dec. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Nova Scotia Teachers Union is
concerned about results from the 2013 Report Card on Child Poverty and
its link to student success.
"Teachers know there are many hungry children, adolescents and young
adults out there, they see it every day," says NSTU president Shelley
Morse. "They continually find ways to help support these children
because they know how difficult it is to learn when you experience
hunger and poverty. Our members see the connection between poverty and
students' well-being and ability to succeed in school, and are
concerned about their students not reaching their full potential."
Research from Statistics Canada shows that children living in poverty
are much less likely to achieve positive educational outcomes.
"According to Campaign 2000, children from low income families are
twice as likely to end up in special education, acquire mental illness
and drop out of school," continues Morse. Campaign 2000, a cross-Canada
public education movement, aims to build support for the 1989 all-party
House of Commons resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.
According to the most recent Campaign 2000 report, 967,000 Canadian
children live in poverty, 1.1 million experience food insecurity, and
at least 22,000 are homeless. CCPA's 2013 Report Card on Child and
Family Poverty in Nova Scotia states that Nova Scotians have the fifth
highest provincial rate of child poverty—17.3 per cent. "It's coming up
on 25 years since MPs voted to end child poverty in Canada continues
Morse. "However, now there are even more Canadian students living in
families where the income is at or below the poverty line."
Morse hopes provincial and federal governments start to take action to
alleviate child poverty. "Increasing income supports for lower income
families, and adopting tax policies that create a more equitable wealth
distribution are some ways this can be achieved," she adds.
Morse, who was a member of the Canadian Teachers' Federation's Advisory
Committee on Human Rights & Diversity, says that through a partnership
with CTF's Imagineaction program (http://www.imagine-action.ca/) school activities will be linked with community initiatives to better
engage students in the issue of child poverty.
Morse is heartened to know that NSTU members are continually involved in
helping to reduce poverty. "I am amazed at the number of initiatives
our teachers and Community College members and their students are
involved in throughout the school year to help others in need," she
continues. "During November and December this activity increases.
Whether they run, or raise funds for breakfast and lunch programs, food
banks and other community programs, they give of their time and
resources and play a part in helping to end child poverty."
The NSTU is providing support again this year to Feed Nova Scotia. "Feed
Nova Scotia continues to try to eliminate chronic hunger and poverty
through their many programs."
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union represents more than 10,000 public school
teachers, Community College faculty and professional support staff and
teachers who work for the Atlantic Provinces Special Education
Authority. Since 1895, it has worked to improve the quality of public
education in Nova Scotia.
SOURCE: Nova Scotia Teachers Union
For further information:
Angela Murray, NSTU Public Relations Coordinator Direct: 902-479-4708, Cell: 902-497-0194, firstname.lastname@example.org, @NSTeachersUnion.