Sense of Community

Our ongoing, 10-part Community Journalism series airs quarterly

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters come together to produce 10 stories, four times a year;  see past espisodes of our Sense of Community series here.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Many children have escaped the trauma of domestic violence and are living with a parent in the Harmony House shelter in east Springfield. Harmony House serves anywhere between 30 and 50 children at any given time. 

And that trauma can impact a child’s education.

Tony LaBellarte is the Children’s Case Manager at Harmony House. 

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

On Tuesday, people living within the boundaries of the Springfield R-12 school district will be asked to vote on Proposition S, an 18-cent increase to the debt service levy that would fund 39 projects, including renovating and rebuilding several schools.  Proposition S would also make entrances more secure and improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

The list of projects that would be funded was developed by a task force of 30 people across the district.

Michele Skalicky

Lynn Schirk wants unaccompanied youth and homeless families with school-age kids to know:  There’s help through the school district for things like housing, transportation to school, food and other needs.

Michele Skalicky

Teachers have a difficult job:  They’re in charge of a room full of children, with a variety of learning needs, and they’re working to make sure kids learn what they need to learn to move onto the next grade and to do well on standardized tests.  Not only do they have to be effective in helping their students learn, they also must know how to deal with behavior problems and how to meet the emotional needs of the kids in their classrooms.  And poverty can make those problems worse.

Communithy Partnership of the Ozarks

The U.S. Census Bureau points to a poverty rate in Springfield Missouri above 25%, and The Every Child Promise, an initiative launched 5 years ago, continues at the forefront of getting disadvantaged Springfield Public School preschoolers ready for kindergarten.  

In January 2014, co-chair Todd Parnell, announced the launch of The Every Child Promise.

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