Terms You Need To Know

What is Title I and what type of student does it serve?

This program provides financial assistance through state educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.

LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of children from low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs designed to upgrade their entire educational programs to improve achievement for all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.

In school year 2009-10, more than 56,000 public schools across the country used Title I funds to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum. That same year Title I served more than 21 million children. Of these students, approximately 59 percent were in kindergarten through fifth grade, 21 percent in grades 6-8, 17 percent in grades 9-12, 3 percent in preschool, and less than one percent ungraded.

Title I is designed to help students served by the program to achieve proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards. Title I schools with percentages of low income students of at least 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other federal, state, and local funds, to operate a "schoolwide program" to upgrade the instructional program for the whole school. Title I schools with less than 40 percent low income students or that choose not to operate a schoolwide program offer a "targeted assistance program" in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the state's challenging academic achievement standards. Targeted assistance schools design, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.

Under Title I, local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to provide services for eligible private school students, as well as eligible public school students. In particular, section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. These services must be developed in consultation with officials of the private schools. The Title I services provided by the LEA for private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services provided by the private school.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education. Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (Title I, Part A)

Food insecurity exists when people lack sustainable physical or economic access to enough safe,nutritious, and socially acceptable food for a healthy and productive life. Food insecurity may be chronic, seasonal, or temporary. Nutritional consequences of insufficient food or under nutrition include protein energy malnutrition, anemia, vitamin A deficiency, iodine deficiency, and iron deficiency.

Food insecurity and malnutrition result in catastrophic amounts of human suffering. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 60 percent of all childhood deaths in the developing world are associated with chronic hunger and malnutrition. In developing countries, persistent malnutrition leaves children weak, vulnerable, and less able to fight such common childhood illnesses as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, malaria , and measles. Even children who are mildly to moderately malnourished are at greater risk of dying from these common diseases.

Malnourished children in the United States suffer from poorer health status, compromised immune systems, and higher rates of illnesses such as colds, headaches, and fatigue. Adolescents and adults also suffer adverse consequences of food insecurity and malnutrition.Malnutrition can lead to decreased energy levels, delayed maturation, growth failure, impaired cognitive ability, diminished capacity to learn, decreased ability to resist infections and illnesses, shortened life expectancy, increased maternal mortality, and low birth weight.Food insecurity may also result in severe social, psychological, and behavioral consequences.

Food insecure individuals may manifest feelings of alienation, powerlessness, stress, and anxiety, and they may experience reduced productivity, reduced work and school performance,and reduced income earnings. Household dynamics may become disrupted because of a preoccupation with obtaining food, which may lead to anger, pessimism, and irritability. Adverse consequences for children include: higher levels of aggressive or destructive behavior, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty with social interactions (e.g., more withdrawn or socially disruptive), increased passivity, poorer overall school performance, increased school absences, and a greater need for mental health care services (e.g., for depression or suicidal behaviors).

Malnutrition and hunger, particularly during early fetal development and early childhood, is the root cause of a multi- generational downward spiral of poor health, poor performance in school and on the job, family stress and instability, lower income and an unsustainable cost to a nation's economy.

In a recent study, commissioned by Feeding America, "Child Food Insecurity:The Economic Impact on our Nation (A report on research on the impact of food insecurity and hunger on child health, growth and development commissioned by Feeding America and The Con Agra Foods Foundation)," the following significant conclusions were drawn:

"The research reviewed here provides evidence that the effects of food insecurity worsen as its severity worsens, and that child food insecurity and hunger are associated with worse consequences than household food insecurity alone. However even at the lowest levels of severity Children's Health Watch data suggest that, at least for babies and
toddlers, household food insecurity is an established risk factor for health and development. This leads to the very troubling conclusion that for infants and toddlers food insecurity is an "invisible epidemic" of a widely prevalent and serious condition known to exist and to pose serious risks to child health and development, and whose remedy is well understood and cost effective, but is being withheld from those at greatest risk. Food insecurity can occur and inflict harm at any or all parts of the life cycle.

However, the particular vulnerability of infants and toddlers ages 0 - 36 months undergoing especially rapid physical growth and neuro cognitive development, provides a special opportunity for protecting and positively influencing the remainder of the life-cycle. Moreover, the apparent heightened susceptibility of older girls to the negative
impacts of food insecurity in multiple domains suggests that it is particularly urgent to decrease this risk among those who will become mothers of the next generation of children.

Of the many interlocking forms of deprivation experienced by poor and near-poor children in the United States, food insecurity is one of the most readily measured as well as one of the most rapidly remediable through policy changes. Our country, unlike many others in the world, is clearly capable of producing and distributing sufficient healthful
food to all its inhabitants, constrained only by political will.We clearly know how to fix the problem of food insecurity and the harm it does to children, and we have an opportunity now to do that. Food insecurity and hunger damage the architecture of children's brains, and that makes it extremely difficult for them to ever reach their full
potential as effective workers and members of society. As a result of that we all lose. But American business leaders have the means and ingenuity to prevent this from happening. By doing that, and ending child food insecurity and hunger, they can ensure a prosperous future for us all."

For more information, please visit the website,http://www.feedingamerica.org.
Source http://www.dccmaugusta.org/What%20does%20FOOD%20INSECURITY%20Mean.pdf

Food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers.

This has become a big problem because while food deserts are often short on whole food providers, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, instead, they are heavy on local quickie marts that provide a wealth of processed, sugar, and fat laden foods that are known contributors to our nation's obesity epidemic. The food desert problem has in fact become such an issue that the USDA has outlined a map of our nation's food deserts, which I saw on Mother Nature Network.

The Food Desert Locator is a part of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative to end childhood obesity.

According to the USDA: Part of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the proposed Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) will expand the availability of nutritious food to food deserts--low-income communities without ready access to healthy and affordable food--by developing and equipping grocery stores, small retailers, corner stores, and farmers markets with fresh and healthy food.

The USDA defines what's considered a food desert and which areas will be helped by this initiative: To qualify as a "low-access community," at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).


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