“Poor” Should Never Be a Grade

Elementary school students practicing writing. Photo by Learning Works for Kids.

“Grandma, are we poor?” 4-year-old Angelica* asks, with a twinge of anxiety. “No baby, we are blessed,” her 53-year-old grandmother replied, with an exhausted half-smile.

At a city-sponsored early childhood education fair where we met, mental health resources, classes, and after-school programs were on display for enrollment. Organizations like First 5 have a strong presence, and there are multiple subsidized…