Education Center

After exploring the facts around Poverty, the following resources will help classroom teachers, community, church and service group leaders, home schoolers and other educators initiate meaningful discussions about poverty in America today. It is designed to help individuals and groups not only begin to understand the size and scope of the problem but also start thinking about the ways in which they can take action to help create awareness about poverty in their communities.

The resources included have been divided into three units, based on age and grade level:

Grades K-5

Grades 6-12

Adult Education

Each unit is then further divided into four sections:

  • Focus: The main theme, topic or concept covered in the unit, together with introductory remarks suitable for reading aloud to your group.
  • Activity: Endeavors designed to get your group members thinking not only about the life of those in poverty, but their own lives as well.
  • Getting Involved: Community-oriented activities that can be pursued either in a group setting or on their own – activities that, by encouraging community involvement, will help your group further its understanding of poverty in America.
  • Learning more: Suggested resources – both print and online – for further exploration of topics and issues related to poverty in America.

Ending Poverty in Community Curriculum (EPIC)

The EPIC Curriculum, a toolkit for Young Advocates, is an interactive, interdisciplinary curriculum for youth ministry programs and high school classrooms. The lessons introduce participants to the epidemic of poverty in the United States and to the steps they can take to work with the poor in eliminating the root causes of poverty today. The curriculum comprises six lessons with classroom-ready handouts, warm-up exercises and reflection activities that reinforce student learning and inspire a faith response. Learn more.

Additional Resources

The following resources are available for learning more about Poverty USA:

Get the Facts

Read the facts about Poverty USA and learn who lives in poverty. Get the facts.

Tour Poverty USA

View the Poverty USA video and learn what it’s like to live at the Poverty line. Watch now.

Take the Poverty Quiz

Take the quiz and see how much you know about the State of Poverty today. Take the Quiz.

Student Action Project (PDF)

Ideas and suggestions for educating about poverty and our Catholic response for grades K-8. Download PDF now (2 MB).

Multi-Media Youth Contest

A program for young people in grades 7-12 to learn about poverty in the U.S., its causes, and the response of the Church. After learning, youth become educators of others through their work of any medium (song, video, painting, writing, etc.). Explore the contest.

Stack of the Deck Game

Volunteers from the audience and three decks of cards to help identify some of the root causes of poverty. Get the game and instructions now (USCCB website).

Take a Step Activity

Asks participants to step forward or backwards in response to a series of questions in order to illustrate the “unequal playing field” that benefits some while making it more likely that others will be left behind. Get the game and instructions now (USCCB website).

Poverty USA: Game Show Edition

Lead your class or small group in this interactive game show in which students can compete and learn by answering true/false questions about Poverty in the U.S.   Get the game and instructions now (USCCB website).