Poverty in the Rio Grande Valley

By Readingintheborderlands

This morning the local paper reported the metro area I live in is the poorest area of more than 500,000 people in the country. An estimated 37.7% of the population lives in poverty.

Poverty is a complex problem, and reducing the poverty rate requires multiple, long-term approaches. An essential element, however, is increasing quality of education and access to education so that more people succesfully complete higher levels of schooling.

Educational attainment is definitely part of the poverty problem in the Rio Grande Valley. According to the U.S Census Bureau, in Hidalgo County only 61% of the people 25 years or older have at least a high school diploma. Only 16% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

How does this relate to poverty levels? People 25 years or older who have less than a high school diploma have median yearly earnings of $11,207. With a bachelor’s degree those earnings jump to $42,326.

So thank you to all the teachers in the Rio Grande Valley. And a special thank you to those who are working to make sure the education our children receive is both excellent and equitable. We have a lot of work to do!


Why Captain Underpants Is Good for Kids

By Readingintheborderlands

In my career as a teacher and professor I’ve encountered far too many reluctant and resistant readers. This article does an excellent job of explaining why some students are turned off by reading and school, and how books like the Captain Underpants series can provide a connection to literacy.

It’s In the Syllabus!

By Readingintheborderlands

I’ve had several conversations with different colleagues this past week about students who are either acting helpless or are truly lost in academia. Professors usually love it when students ask questions….except when the answers to those questions are things easily found in the syllabus, previously announced in class, or posted on the class website. Or all three! I am constantly frustrated by the number of students who don’t look at their syllabus after the first night of class, especially since I devote a lot of time to writing a clear, information-filled document.

I love this post about how parents can help their students understand the importance of syllabi.