Summary: Poverty and Education

In the fourth chapter, ‘The land of opportunity – if you catch them early’, the authors focus on the question of poverty and its consequences, which destroy a large number of families affecting children’s behavior in a negative way. In this case, the problem still remains a fundamental part of the twenty-first century not just in the USA but in Africa as well. Such a difficult situation compels teenagers to commit crimes as their parents cannot cope with unemployment that makes their living level even lower despite the implementation of suggested programs. The government claims that these new programs can help parents and their children make their characters strong in order to get rid of bad habits as they show what priorities to follow to avoid the prison. There are some precise examples, which reveal that girls become pregnant at the early age despite the fact that they study at school and live in poor conditions, because their parents use drugs or alcohol. Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Nepal, and even some Indian reservations refer to the poorest regions, in which people struggle with overweight, sugar diabetes, and lung cancer. The usual routine consists of the use of marijuana or cocaine, and alcohol. Thus, many researches prove that money is not one of the most significant key elements that lead to poverty as it also relates to the lack of any well-paid job and absence of any hope for a better future.

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The fifth chapter, ‘A thirty-million-word gap’, shows that Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley conducted many experiments based on the interaction and mutual understanding of the families between parents and their children affected by the socioeconomic status. They proved that the more important words children hear, the better results they can have at school, and their IQ is higher because a large number of words have a substantial impact on the children’s brain and appropriate rational behavior. Additionally, according to different Hart and Risley’s findings, they discovered that poor children stay behind as for knowledge and needed skills to study further. The worst in this situation is that poor families do not have any opportunity to praise their children in contrast to the rich, who try to use any single possibility to encourage their children’s success in studying. In this case, scientists and researchers offer such a well-known intervention as reading, which helps children create verbal and literacy skills bringing joy and widening their outlooks at the same time. Many parents even do not realize that reading is very useful for their children, because they do not know that reading involves a child in conversion and discussion based on various topics. Thus, pediatricians emphasize that reading is vital for every toddler, and it is the cheapest intervention for low-income families, which can positively influence children’s behavior and speaking. On the other hand, poverty in the USA relates to a tough racial dynamic, but the achievement gap is connected not just with race. Undoubtedly, such interventions as the Perry Preschool Project and Head Start programs suggested a solution to the problem connected with high school education for middle-class families, even if living in hard conditions at home children could regress. Nowadays, more and more businessmen invest their money in children’s education as kids will develop the country in future. For instance, the existent program A Summer Springboard for Kids allows low-income students to get the appropriate education from the very beginning when they do not have any reading skills. Lastly, this program concentrates on the parents’ training to make them kids’ teachers at home.

In the sixth chapter, ‘Who grabs the marshmallow?’, the main idea refers to the observation of important points that can help people break poverty. Researchers think that such personal traits of character as persistence, optimism, self-discipline, and others, assist in decreasing of this widespread problem all over the world. In such way, the starting issue is the development of early education as it is one of the most cost-effective aspects for intervention. As a starting point, there must be a grit in its development. It means that an individual like Khadijah Williams must overcome all the difficulties he or she encounters in life in order to reach the set goals in studying based on the support from outside. Despite the fact that a girl was poor, she had successfully graduated from Harvard University in 2013 because of her persistence and desire for knowledge. Moreover, grit explains the best and the most remarkable achievements of Asian Americans, Jews, and West Indian Americans. The point is that these three groups focus on diligence and education, which are a so-called driving force for them. Scientists find out that grit is a reflection of the brain structure, which is necessary to form in childhood.

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The seventh chapter, ‘Coaching troubled teens’, represents all possible strategies that can help teenagers avoid sex if their partners push them for it despite their disinclination. First of all, children look at their parents as adults are an example of the appropriate behavior and attitude to life and unintended pregnancy. In this case, it is necessary to build more programs based on comprehensive sex education and more clinics, which will provide all the necessary contraception. For example, the program conducted by Dr. Carrera suggests children to discuss questions of health and sexuality in a free way as it explains that pregnancy avoidance gives children an opportunity to have future. Moreover, a good teacher can also affect the children’s mind and sub-consciousness when children forget about outcomes. Besides, the Ford Foundation built one more program, Citizen Schools, for low-income families. The program consists of the second shift in order to make students participate in different courses and programs based on the work with volunteers.

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The eighth chapter, ‘The power of hope’, reveals that poor people of New Guinea do not see any relative option to survive as they exist in poverty, and hence, they spend more money on alcohol than on education of their children or food. People destruct their own lives being locked in constant depression and hopelessness because of poverty, which goes from one generation to another. As a result, it leads to a clinical depression that does not allow parents to take care of their children appropriately, because adults cannot concentrate on their children’s needs and requests. The unlimited stress of poverty also has an impact on such human abilities as intelligence at work. As for children, many organizations created some sponsorship programs like Save the Children or Compassion International to provide studying at school for poor children.

In the ninth chapter, ‘The doctor who treats violence’, the authors offer a true life story as an example that shows how a wife killed her husband during their fighting. Even having children, she was charged as a murderer of her husband. Violence and crime are common issues among poor people but they build an economic burden for society as businessmen do not want to invest their money in such dangerous districts, and children cannot focus on studying being afraid of death. Crime and violence are the price, which society and government should pay because of the lack of money investment to the early education of children. Thus, it is obligatory to combine all the efforts to provide education for children from the early age because at this age the brain of children absorbs the most essential information and rules how to perceive the world.

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The tenth chapter, ‘Attacking sex trafficking’, is about the problem of sex trafficking and a real story, which happened to Becca Stevens, who was sexually abused by a man. Having experienced a sexual abuse at the early age, she refers to the victims of sex trafficking. It is a serious problem, when girls become prostitutes because of the abuse. Nowadays, it remains the most brutal issue, which relates to the violation of human rights and freedoms. In Pakistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Moldova, and the USA, millions of women suffer from sex trade as it occurs too often, and there is no precise solution how to prevent this problem. It violates human independence, and different civil and religious organizations concentrate on the creation of various legislative projects in order to solve this problem. Thus, it is necessary to prohibit sexual slavery all over the world as working as a prostitute violates female nature.


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