Charlotte Organizations Use Early Childhood Education To Help Break Poverty Cycle
By Jessa O’Connor • 5/1/2018
A Charlotte study that came out last year identified access to quality pre-kindergarten education as a key factor in making sure that children who are born into poverty have a chance of rising out of it in their lifetimes.
North Carolina has a well-respected pre-kindergarten program that’s free for low-income families, and CMS offers its own program. But they don’t nearly meet the need, so some local organizations are trying to fill in the gap. They’re working to make early childhood education affordable for low-income families in an effort to break the poverty cycle.
Shadé Joseph, 24, has a lot on her plate. She works full-time as a cook at Chipotle and is pursuing her dream of owning a catering company. She’s also a young mother of a 2-year-old girl, named Fola Sadé, which means “crowned with honor and wealth” in Yoruba – a common language used in Nigeria.
Joseph’s partner, Fola’s father, goes to school full time at Johnson C. Smith University and studies criminology.
Joseph said she got lucky when the time came to find child care for Fola, so she could go back to work. Just a few blocks from her apartment, the new Howard Levine Child Development Center was being built.
“Once I saw [the center], I told my daughter ‘you’re gonna go there, you’re gonna go there,’ ” Joseph said. “It’s right up the street, I live like right there.”