Paula Strickland, an Elmira College education major from Delta, recently participated in a hands-on simulation with faculty and staff from the Elmira Heights School District, along with the nonprofit organization, Pro Action, to better understand what it's like to live in poverty.
During the simulation, Elmira College students were assigned professional roles including teacher, grocer, bill collector, banker, police office and social services worker. The high school faculty and staff took on roles of those facing poverty.
The participants were then placed into scenarios showing the obstacles for a family or individual in poverty, including going grocery shopping, running errands, or simply providing basic necessities on a limited budget.
After interacting with each other throughout the simulation, the participants discussed how the experience impacted how they would approach poverty, teaching and learning in the future. They also took away a broader awareness of poverty and how better to help low-income families and learners.
Elmira College is a private, coeducational, Phi Beta Kappa college founded in 1855, located in Elmira, N.Y.