Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Why Are We Allowing Two Million Students to Go Hungry?

In the U.S. one out of every ten college students is homeless and goes to class hungry. There are programs to help feed hungry k-12 students who come from poor families. They are provided free or reduced breakfast, snacks and lunches. But such programs stop at high school graduation. Many poor and middle class college students, therefore, do not eat for days on end. This is a crisis being ignored by many. The problem is caused by our lack of support for those in need.

College living expenses average $17,000 per year. This is for housing and food only. It doesn't include tuition, fees or transportation. Even if a student receives a scholarship for tuition, many other costs are not covered. I believe an educated population is so critical to the health of our economy that all college costs should be covered for all students. But I don't make the rules.

Students are sleeping in cars, parks, under freeway overpasses and in other unsafe areas. Some are able to cope with the stress of homelessness and hunger and make it through to graduation. Many others drop out. How many would succeed if they had a roof over their heads and food in their bellies?

I have a suggestion that would not require any additional infrastructure. Everything is in place except the will to do the right and economically sound thing. Let’s look at each student’s financial aid form. Those who are accepted into college, and do not have the financial resources to buy a student meal plan, should be given one gratis. This does not solve the issue of homelessness, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Do you have an idea for solving the homelessness of two million college students nationwide?

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If you’re interested in learning more about any of these topics, you can follow me on Twitter,@ElizaWallace27 or click on the image of my book, Free College, at the top right side of this page. This will take you to Amazon, where you can read more about me and my book. Free College contains a step-by-step guide to winning more free money for college, and is based on the habits of numerous students who have done so already.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Why Are We Playing Roulette with the Lives of U.S. School Children?

What if your child was diabetic, asthmatic or had a life threatening allergy? Would you be comfortable sending him or her to school knowing there was a school nurse on campus only one day a week? About 10% of students have one of these three conditions. This means 30% of our children are in danger of having a life threatening event while at school.

What about being injured playing sports, running into a pole head first (I’ve witnessed this one.), or attempting suicide (true story)? Two weeks into the new school year, one of my First Period French I students asked to go to the nurse’s office because she was feeling faint. I wouldn’t allow her to go alone, since she could pass out while on the way. I called the nurse who said she would bring a wheelchair.

A moment after I hung up the phone, the student sitting next to the girl who was dizzy whispered in my ear, “She told me she took several of her mother’s sleeping pills before school.” I called the nurse back. She phoned the paramedics and ran to my classroom with the wheelchair. On the way back to her office, the student “coded”. The nurse kept her alive until paramedics arrived and took over. Without the nurse, it would have been her French teacher trying to keep her alive. Which would you prefer?

Teachers are on strike or have protested all over the country lately. One of the main issues is the current lack of support staff in schools, especially school nurses. Every school I ever attended had a full time school nurse and a trained adult aide. I know they saved lives. They took care of the sick and injured, referred students to outside medical help, and performed many medical tests, such as vision. When I was little, I remember lining up with my class at the nurse’s office to receive vaccines. It's not like that anymore. School nurses are a rarity.

Schools are underfunded and make cuts where they can. States and the Federal Government are putting our money elsewhere. Only voters can make them protect our students by demanding a full time nurse on every school campus. The Senate has stalled a bill that could help some schools. It’s for Title I schools. It’s called NURSE, Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere. It’s not going to solve the problem in every school, but would cover 46,969 schools nationwide. That’s a start.

You can contact your senator and ask him/her to support this bill by clicking here: U.S. Senate.

For information on college planning and how to earn more college scholarships, you’ll want my new book, Free College. It’s for families of Pre-K through High School students.  Buy it now from Amazon,

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