From the Archive: United Way sponsorship of Ruby Payne conference helps DeSoto, Tunica County and Senatobia City School teachers

(From left, front) Andrea Payne, Leslie Heyman, Gennie Chetham, Ruby Payne, Keesha Ward, Jane Blalock (from left, middle) Kelley Crawley, Mistina Johnson, Robbie Robison, Andrea Bambury, April Ham (from left, back) Anthony Jackson, Susan VanVelsor, Pam Hawks, Terri McCain

People who work to improve the lives of people living in poverty need to understand how different their worlds can be. Often these differences can interfere with communication and understanding, making the work all the more challenging.

United Way works to address poverty and its many sub-issues every day, and understands that the more people know about these communication differences, the more likely they can help each other improve people’s lives.

The reality of being poor can bring out a “survival” approach to daily life, which can result in turning attention away from opportunities that people living in relative comfort take for granted.

United Way staff met with teachers from DeSoto and Tunica counties to attend Ruby K. Payne’s “Bridges Out Of Poverty” conference last month at the University of Memphis. They also worked with Senatobia City School teachers to attend the event.

Payne is a nationally recognized expert on how poverty impacts education efforts. The meeting was designed to help teachers identify ways their work can better reach children from impoverished backgrounds by understanding issues and challenges related to poverty.

Five teachers from Senatobia City Schools, five teachers from  Tunica County Schools, along with eight teachers from DeSoto  County Schools attended the one-day seminar.

Resources available on CIM from SAIPE (Small Area Income Poverty Estimates) show that in DeSoto County more than 2,260 families with children are living in poverty;  and in Tunica County, more than 515 families.

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