Data on children in poverty presented at luncheon

MARQUETTE — Every year data about children living in poverty is compiled and presented in a publication called the Kids Count in Michigan Data Book.

The data, presented at a luncheon today, shows that 25% of Michigan children live in poverty. Though, despite the daunting numbers not all of the data presented was bad news.

“The good news is, on the education side, is the students not proficient in reading and math has decreased, meaning that students are becoming more successful when they’re taking our state assessments,” said Deborah Veiht, Superintendent of MARESA.

More families are also self-identifying as being in poverty, which has led to an increase in school programs aimed at better helping the children.

The luncheon was hosted by the Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition and Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative.

The U.P.C.C. is focused on identifying issues that affect children’s well being.

“What can you do as an individual to advocate on behalf of children and families?” asked Chris Zenti, Chairperson of the U.P.C.C. “Children have no voice, and we have a responsibility to be a voice for them and to be an advocate for them, so that they have every opportunity that they can to achieve their inherent potential in life.”

The U.P.C.C is hosting a conference in May that will address what can be done to impact the number of children living in poverty.