This article describes the public and private responses necessary to develop skills for low-income children to succeed. In order to fully comprehend the challenges facing these children, the article begins by explaining the statistics behind childhood poverty, including that children raised in poverty perform well below average in school and attend schools with significantly less resources. The article then turns to the concept of resiliency, which is a theory that children who develop positive internal strengths can overcome the burdens of poverty. Finally, the article explores how resiliency can be developed in children by examining three methods currently used in communities: Storytelling, the Girl Scouts of America, and the Alabama Blues Program. The article concludes by finding that, in addition to meeting the basic needs of impoverished children, children’s spirits can soar through these com munity programs—by being therapeutic, empowering, imaginative, chal lenging, and educational—and inspired to overcome the barriers of poverty.
Steven H. Hobbs & Shenavia Baity,
Tending to the Spirit: A Proposal for Healing the Hearts of Black Children in Poverty,
B.C. Third World L.J.