A co-worker forwarded this link from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a Tour of Poverty. Their Poverty USA site, a great resource for education and advocacy, also has an interesting poverty quiz. One little fact from the quiz, "In fact, the U.S. child poverty rate is two-to-three times higher than other major industrialized nations."
One of the best parts of working for a small nonprofit is the outside our normal duty activities, especially when they involve the kids from our transitional housing program. Wednesday, I spent the day at the Twin Cities' amusement park Valley Fair with a group of kids to celebrate their perfect or almost perfect school attendance. Last year, I accompanied four teenaged girls and we went on all the scary rides (which I love), so I was expecting to be with much smaller kids this time. The girls this time were aged 10-12 and alternated between delightful and frustrating. They were still young enough to want hugs and sometimes reassurance before scary rides, but were also old enough to be stubborn and bicker when the afternoon crabbies hit. Once again, I rode all the scary rides (except the Steel Venom ride kicked my butt last year - I'm looking forward to a rematch) with multiple trips to the water drenching ones and the bumper cars. What ride did the four girls think was the scariest? The ferris wheel - the only ride I remember all four of my grandparents riding when I was a kid. This isn't even a normal two person ferris wheel, it fit all six of us (two adults, four girls.) I have to admit, though, the shrieking made it a lot more exciting. Anyways, how does this relate to the above post about poverty? At $32.95 for anyone over 48", this is one of the things that most low-income families would have to do without. A summer without at least one trip to an amusement park is a sad summer, indeed.