The most important factor that contributes to the outrageous statistics of illiteracy is that of poverty. Poverty is an issue that more and more of our nation's children are coming face to face with and the price they must pay is unbelievably high. Poverty is considered a major at-risk factor (Leroy & Symes, 2001). The term at-risk refers to children who are likely to fail whether it be at school or life in general because of their life's social circumstances. Some of the factors that may place these children at-risk are: dangerous neighborhoods; young, uneducated parents; unemployment; and inadequate educational experiences. Teachers need to be aware of the circumstances that their students face and be able and ready to help these children find a balance between the cultural values that they may have and values emphasized in school. By providing emotional support, modeling, and other forms of scaffolding, teachers can help students use their strengths, skills, and knowledge to develop and learn ( Marlowe and Page, 1999).
The difference in academic performance among children from different classes or groups is referred to as the achievement gap ( Pellino, 2006).... [continues]
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