Springfield Public Schools

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. 

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.

Springfield Public Schools superintendent, Dr. John Jungmann was selected by the Missouri Association of School Administrators as the recipient of the 2019 Robert L. Pearce Award. The honoree is chosen by a committee of peers from among nominees from each of the eight MASA districts.

The committee recognized him, in part, for providing engaging, relevant and personalized learning experiences every day through project-based environments; the expansion of the district’s Explore program and implementing programs that provide all students with equitable access to modern tools. 

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.

(Photo courtesy Ozark String Project)

This afternoon we’ll look at arts education and participation among children in economically-disadvantaged circumstances—and how area educators, artists and arts administrators are attempting to counter the problem. 

For Marty Moore, Executive Director of Learning Support and Partnerships for Springfield Public Schools, the problem is that families in poverty always have to make choices about where that money’s going to go. 

"It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out those arts experiences are going to fall to the bottom of that list,” Moore said.