WIUM Tristates Public Radio


Schools Are Using Poverty Simulations To Build Empathy. But Do They Work?

Feb 9, 2018
Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

About 100 teachers and school support staff spent the better part of three hours inside a junior high school gymnasium in rural, east central Illinois in early January. They were role playing people living in poverty.


Vern Reed is confident that what started out as a professional development session for his job at West Burlington High School is transforming southeast Iowa. He’s sure that will continue as more and more people learn about Bridges out of Poverty and the resulting local initiative: Building Bridges.

A Third of IL Residents in or very Near Poverty

Jan 16, 2013

A third of Illinois residents live in, or a very near poverty levels. That’s the finding of a  new report which also shows some of the counties with the highest poverty rates are in Western Illinois.

 A large and growing number of Americans are poor or at risk of becoming poor as a consequence of the Great Recession, and many will struggle during a recovery, according to a white paper released last week by the national broadcaster whose appearance last week at the 20th annual Martin Luther King luncheon in Peoria was cancelled after some people complained that he’d criticized President Obama.