The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

February 19, 2014

Regional forum on child poverty slated at SALS


— The Southern Appalachian Labor School will host an Our Children, Our Future regional forum at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Historic Oak Hill School, 140 School Street, Oak Hill.

The forum will offer a chance to meet community members, advocates, and families living in poverty and is one of 12 regional forums organized around the state as part of the Our Children, Our Future: Campaign to End Child Poverty.

West Virginia’s child poverty rate is at a 40 year-high, with nearly 1 in 4 kids living in poverty (and more than half receiving free or reduced lunch in schools). Child poverty is not inevitable, organizers believe. “In the last 40 years, we have slashed senior poverty by nearly 75 percent (from 39.2 to 10.3 percent). Now it is time to do the same for our kids. We need your help,” a SALS representative said in a press release.’’

“At the forum, you will hear from community advocates and families. Then we plan to ask you (a series of) ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, after which we will give you a couple of minutes to elaborate on your answers,” the representative said. The questions came from a statewide process of about 75 community meetings, 200+ stakeholder meetings, and a statewide vote on the group’s priorities.

“We want to respect your time, and the time of those in attendance, so we will have a tight agenda. If you have any questions, or if you want more information about any of these questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us ahead of time. We would be glad to provide you with more background information.”

To RSVP for the forum, call Barb Painter at 304-673-6370 or e-mail bobbie761957@gmail.com.