EAHS Poverty Simulation

Poverty Simulation to be held at Elkhorn School District: Free and Open to the Public

About 10.2% of the Wisconsin population was poor in 2017, as measured by the Wisconsin Poverty Measure (WPM) developed by IRP (Institute for Research on Poverty) researchers.  The state’s growing economy has had little effect on the poverty rate as rising costs of living, especially in the areas of childcare and medical care, offset gains in earnings and employment. This left Wisconsin’s poverty rate in 2017 about the same as it was in 2010.  Although safety net benefits, especially Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (called FoodShare in Wisconsin) and refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, continued to play an important role in poverty reduction, these effects continued to decline in 2017. Rising medical and work expenses largely cancelled out antipoverty effects of safety net for the overall poverty rate.  To view the full report go to Institute for Research on Poverty.

A Poverty Simulation provides participants with the opportunity to assume the role of a low income family member living on a limited budget. The experience is divided into four 15-minute sessions, each of which represents one week in which you must provide for your family and maintain your home. As one participant commented, “This poverty simulation dramatically demonstrates how much time and energy many families have to give just to survive from day to day. It quickly dispels the myth “that people would do fine if they would only go out and get a job!”

This event is appropriate for volunteers and community organizations that serve low-income families, faith based organizations, volunteers at food distribution sites, school administrators and educators, business owners and economic development specialists, elected officials, high school and college students, social workers, concerned citizens and anyone who would like to learn more about their community and find ways to improve life for others.

This simulation is hosted by the Elkhorn School District and facilitated by UW-Extension.  The simulation is made possible by funds provided by the Elkhorn Fund to purchase the kit.

The simulation will be held from 9 am – Noon on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at Elkhorn Area High School at 482 E Geneva Street in Elkhorn, WI).  Space is limited so registration is required.  Please register by going to Registration for Poverty Simulation or by emailing amanda.kostman@wisc.edu or by calling 262-741-4951.

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