No one disputes generational poverty is inherent and likely to grow.
But as a teacher, we have to cope with the children of generational poverty.
And you know?
We can!
It just depends on the resources and strategies we are given to use.
Assuming the school looks after the hunger, just imagine these kids entering the classroom.
They are stressed, depressed, angry, depressed and oppositional!
Why wouldn’t they be?

What’s the solution?
Arts Integration because it creates joy and inclusion to power whole class engagement and motivation

I use JazzlesELA.com, my own ‘Arts Integrated’ curriculum program.
(In fact, having canvassed every major LinkedIn educational groups and every educational #tag one on Twitter, it appears to be the only one that meets/exceeds Common Core Kindergarten ELA)

From class start, I create a joy-filled classroom with children watching carefully structured animated music videos. They are singing, they are moving, they are creating actions – all for a purpose – memory power. When you see, laugh, hear, move and sing, you remember everything! By following specially formatted prolifically alliterative, phonemic awareness, rich subtitles, they are intuitively developing all six big ideas of reading.

Instead of knocking TV, we borrow familiarized program format properties. Working in groups, children dramatize the sung story becoming weather anchors and news reporters. With karaoke, they’re stars of ‘The Voice’, backing singers or members of air-bands, etc. No guitar but they can all be a Keith Urban!

All of this is building their creativity (which generational poverty does not extinguish) while powering themed, systematically evolving vocabulary and oral language skills. Plus, they are working together in groups learning 21st Century Skills, like co-operation, sharing, being kind to each other.

So, let’s start forgetting children’s backgrounds.

Ask any PreK or Kindergarten class. Can you use a computer? Can you sing? Can you dance? Can you color and paint? Can you pretend to be a slippery snake? Hands will go up everywhere because they are at an age when they can. (Children use the computers to research topics, etc.)

Let’s start using Arts Integration to give these children a sense of purpose and value.
Finally, remember for them to learn, they have to read, and to read they have to have vocabulary.
To adopt a quote by Robert Pondiscio of the Core Knowledge Foundation, generational poverty isn’t destiny, but vocabulary, confidence and creativity definitely will be.

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