Soon I will begin another collaboration with my friend and talented filmmaker, Lynne Melcher as we create a video for Operation Breakthrough’s annual fundraiser. I think this will be the fourth year I’ve worked on the project. It’s always a rewarding experience, one that allows me to shoot a lot of pictures of some very special kids and families.
Just to get warmed up and to provide the Center with a new batch of photographs for use in promotional materials, stationery, brochures, newsletters, etc. I spent a morning last week wandering around the halls, playgrounds and classrooms with my trusty new Canon 5DII.
Here are some sobering facts about children living in poverty in America. Most of this data comes from the Children's Defense Fund. We will use information like this to punctuate the film we make:
Children in professional families hear approximately 11 million words per year; children in working class families hear approximately six million words; children in welfare families hear approximately three million words annually.
Poor inner-city youths are seven times more likely to be victims of child abuse or neglect than are children of high social and economic status.
A mother with children can work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year and still be living in poverty.
African American juveniles are about four times as likely as their White peers to be incarcerated. Missouri spends 2.4 times as much per prisoner as per public school student.
Young poor children are three times as likely not to have a parent read to them as non-poor children and are considerably less likely to recognize all letters, count to 20 or higher or be able to write their first name.
Low income youth and young adults drop out of school at more than four times the rate of their high-income peers.
A child dies from abuse or neglect every six hours.