Focus On The Families


As we have entered the New Year, families are beginning to recover from COVID, lockdowns, and the past two years in general. Low-income families have disproportionally been affected by these restrictions. Many of these families are now in need of food, warm clothing, and housing. A lot of people were abruptly put out of jobs and needed immediate help in 2020 and received little to none. The lack of help for low-income families in Edmond is seen in transportation, housing, and the absence of donations. 

According to The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), “More than 1 in 4 households experienced a major form of hardship, but 20%-25% of Black and Latino families were put in situations where they couldn’t afford to pay their rent or mortgage- unlike the 11% of white families.” 

Poverty can have a major impact on children’s education, but this effect can be easily mitigated by teacher involvement and healthy mentorship. Students K-8 that live within a mile of the school and  9-12 one and one-half miles are offered transportation. These students are expected to walk or ride a bike to school, even in the winter months and in grades as low as kindergarten. Oklahoma is rated number five in low-income families. Families in our district should be able to reach out and get support for their kids and themselves. 

The housing crisis in the US is only worsening. People lose their homes all the time and end up in homeless shelters or on the streets and some families are paying more than 70% of their salary on rent. Last year, almost 9 million families were without food for an extended period of time, 6 million families said they wouldn’t be able to pay their rent, and 14 million families overall had experienced overwhelming hardships. Studies show that providing housing for these people would not only help reduce childhood poverty but also increase economic mobility. 

Our school has options such as the school food pantry and the PTO. 

“The Food Pantry is open for any student that needs help. We provide food over the weekends for when the students and their families don’t have as many resources. We also deliver food year-round (in the summer as well) to make sure that none go hungry.  We also have a clothing pantry that has all seasons of clothing, winter coats, and shoes.” said Rachel Armstrong, a parent, and member of the Edmond PTO.

Edmond and Oklahoma City have food banks for families in need of food and clothing. Project 66, New Hope Church Of Christ, the HOPE Center, and the Urban Mission are open for anyone struggling to afford food and anyone interested in volunteering. They accept donations, volunteers, and they are open to everyone. Along with a federal law that made lunches free this past year, some schools have programs for families to take home canned goods or donate to food banks such as Project 66. The Hope Center, U R Special Ministries, American Red Cross, and thrift stores like goodwill and the salvation army have clothing donation centers.

The US spends 0.2% of its GDP on childcare for children under the age of 2 and parents of infants are expected to pay around 16,000 a year, not including the average of 12,000 for birth or more in the case of C-Section.  37% of children in poverty do not graduate from high school and the number of low-income families is only growing. Offering support and encouragement is integral to both parent(s) and child.

Edmond north has created a wishlist on Amazon for all of the things that would help create a better learning environment.