Students host teach-in on education, poverty in Newark

The LeFevre Fellows, a selection of Honors students at The Ohio State University at Newark, present a student-moderated panel of experts on poverty, homelessness and education on April 17 from 6–7:30 p.m. in the John and Christine L. Warner Center #175. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The LeFevre Fellows are chosen each year to do community outreach, engagement and scholarship. Endowed by a generous grant from the LeFevre Foundation, the Fellows volunteer with community organizations and study the economic, cultural, social, political and public health challenges and opportunities facing the Newark community. This year, the students have organized themselves into four groups: substance use disorder, poverty, animal welfare and education.

The education and poverty groups are hosting a public teach-in on campus about the relationship between primary and secondary education in Newark and poverty and homelessness. Their hope is to learn more about the challenges that families and educators face, create awareness of the interconnectedness of these issues, and encourage community organization to foster positive change. Twenty-five percent of students attending Newark schools live in poverty, twice the percentage of Ohio overall. Graduating Newark High School students enroll in college at a level 10% lower than the state average.

Some of the questions that will be addressed at the panel include:

  • How does food and housing insecurity affect the ability of students in primary and secondary education to learn?
  • What is the effect of slashing funding and support for the arts, literature, and the humanities?
  • What is the effect of charter schools on public education?
  • What other challenges are educators and parents facing?

Deb Dingus (United Way), Trish Perry (Newark Homeless Outreach), lecturer Kristi Frazier (Ohio State Newark) and others will speak on the interrelatedness of these issues. This will be followed by small-group work and a question-and-answer session led by the students.

For more information, contact David B. Ruderman, associate professor of English at Ohio State Newark, at 734-709-2825 or