Government Must Not Ignore Education of Children Living in Poverty

    TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - The healthy development and education of young
children should be the number one priority in any government strategy to
reduce child poverty, says the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
    The issue of child poverty is highlighted in ETFO's presentation today to
the Federal Standing Committee that is looking at reducing poverty in Canada.
    Poverty has a tremendous impact on children's ability to learn, says
    "Teachers see the effects and consequences of poverty in their classrooms
on a daily basis. They know how hard it is for children to learn when they are
hungry or excluded because they cannot afford fees, materials, or proper
clothing. The wasted talents of children who cannot achieve their full
potential represents a huge loss to Canadian society," said ETFO President
David Clegg.
    According to ETFO, the Federal government can play a large role in
addressing poverty and education by implementing a living wage across Canada
to ensure that families have the essentials for their children's school and
learning; expanding eligibility to Employment Insurance; having a national
childcare program; and improving coordination between provincial and federal
governments to address Aboriginal poverty and education.
    A main objective of ETFO is to foster a climate of social justice and
provide leadership in such areas as anti-poverty, non-violence, and equity.
The Federation has focused on lobbying for social change at the provincial
level and developing resources and professional development to share with
educators across Canada.
    Two years ago with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education, ETFO
began an intensive program of addressing poverty and education. The goal of
ETFO's 'Education and Poverty' project is to help teachers understand the
impact of poverty in the classroom and develop strategies to address some of
these impacts.

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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