diaper need awareness weekSeptember 25 to October 1, 2017

Archive for April, 2015

Founding Staffer Named as Champions for Change

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by admin
Alison Weir (left) at the launch of the Westchester County Diaper Bank in 2014.

Alison Weir (left) at the launch of the Westchester County Diaper Bank in 2014.

National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) has selected founding staff member and new Director of Policy and Research Alison Weir as a recipient of the Champions for Change honor in recognition of her ongoing commitment to addressing diaper need, and for her service to the diaper bank community. 

“Clearly, Alison has been instrumental in the success of NDBN as well as the success of countless diaper banks throughout the country,” said Joanne Goldblum, NDBN executive director.  “Not only did she write the book on how to start a diaper bank, Alison has applied her knowledge and leadership to virtually every facet of the network ranging from diaper distribution to diaper legislation to creation of the only national conference serving the diaper bank community.”

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Children Raised in Poverty Have Smaller Brains

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by admin

by Joanne GoldblumFounder and Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank Network originally for the Huffington Post

A major study has just shown that kids who grow up in low-income families develop smaller brains than those raised in more affluent circumstances. The research, led by neuroscientists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Columbia University Medical Center, is not the first to point out this phenomenon. A 2013 study at the Washington University School of Medicine also found smaller brain volumes in people who had experienced poverty as young children, as well as difficulties with stress, memory and processing emotion.

Dad Tipping Toddler-lowRes

Information like this can lead in two directions: to despair or to action. We could conclude that poor kids are biologically doomed to a lifetime of low achievement. Or we could act immediately to improve the early experiences of these children while redoubling our efforts to end poverty. Despair is a non-starter. Putting aside humanitarian concerns, the United States cannot afford to limit the prospects of the 20 percent of its children who grow up in poverty.

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Barriers that Keep Poor Kids Out of School

Posted on: April 2, 2015 by admin

by Joanne GoldblumFounder and Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank Network originally for the Huffington Post

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Sometimes students miss school because they don’t have clean uniforms. Their parents cannot afford detergent or even enough quarters to do a load of laundry.

“A lot of schools have a few backup uniforms,” said Kathryn Scheinberg Meyer, an attorney with the Center for Children’s Advocacy, an organization that provides legal representation to poor children. “But schools cannot possibly meet the need if all of their students are poor.”

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Education is often touted as an avenue to escape poverty. But in the United States, poor children are far more likely to be chronically absent from school than kids from more fortunate families. A study by Johns Hopkins University, for example, found that half of all chronically absent students in Florida came from 12 percent of the state’s districts, which were located in low-income communities. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the school year. More than one in 10 American students are chronically absent.

Absenteeism matters. It is more strongly associated with dropping out than low test scores. The reasons that children from low-income families miss more school are varied. Their families may not have the ability to advocate for proper services for students with learning or physical disabilities. They may live in poor quality housing that puts them at risk of lead or mold exposure and causes illness. Logistical challenges, like the lack of a clean uniform or a winter coat, often play a role.
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