Chicago Sun-Times—Poverty crippling social development of Hammond kindergarteners By Dan Stockman
There are no swings at Hammond’s Lafayette Elementary School. In fact, there’s almost no playground equipment at all. That’s OK, though, because they don’t really do outside recess here. They can’t: The children of Lafayette Elementary School don’t know how to play with one another. “They have no social skills,” Principal Colette Weitknecht says. These are children of extreme poverty: At least a third of them live in public housing projects. Most of the rest live in crumbling rentals. The effects of poverty are so strong — experts now say it is as crippling as brain damage — that students at Lafayette often begin kindergarten two years behind in development. Read the entire article.