Children in Poverty (01:59)
The COVID-19 pandemic made situations worse for millions of American children living in poverty. Many relied on free lunch programs at schools, which were closed during the lockdown.
Home from School (05:56)
Ohio schools shutdown in March 2020. For 13-year-old Shawn it meant staying at home in the family's trailer with his sister and mom, who is on assistance. His mom still has to work, and Shawn worries about her catching COVID-19.
Housing Insecurity (06:44)
Kyah is a 14-year-old living in Columbus. For over a year, she, her sister, and her mother have been staying with friends after they could no longer afford their apartment. Kyah's mother has not had a steady income since COVID began.
Paycheck to Paycheck (07:00)
Laikyen, a 12-year-old living in Marietta, stays at home during the day with her sister while their mom works at a gas station. Her mother uses her paychecks for bills, so they use food stamps and a food pantry for food.
Remote Learning (04:30)
Shawn's family must walk to pick up a Chromebook from his school since they do not have a car. Shawn is anxious about starting school from home and finds out his teacher died of cancer.
Emotional Struggles (03:02)
Kyah and her family spend time at her mother's friend’s house to have more space. Kyah wants to stay in her school district, but her mother is struggling to find an affordable apartment to rent. Kyah was bullied before and does not want to change schools again.
Learning Loss (04:21)
Ohio's school shutdown is extended and Laikyen worries about being held back again. While her mom is at work, volunteers at a local church help her with her schoolwork.
Social Isolation (03:49)
Shawn misses seeing his friends at school. He takes his little sister to McDonald's, which has a free lunch program for school-aged kids. Shawn has been in counseling but is not seeing his counselor as often because of COVID.
Social Justice Protests (07:25)
Kyah visits her grandma, a racial activist, shortly after George Floyd's murder. Kyah and Shawn attend Black Lives Matter protests with their family.
Plans for the Future (07:01)
Laikyen's family worries about her not completing schoolwork. As businesses begin to open, Kyah's mom gets a job as a nail technician. Shawn plans to try his best to get out of poverty.
Credits: Growing Up Poor in America (01:02)
Credits: Growing Up Poor in America
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