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Public invited to interactive class

Program shows perils of poverty

POSTED: January 20, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Family Connection is asking Dawson County residents to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.


The non-profit agency wants locals to see firsthand the perils that poverty can bring through an interactive experience open to all.


Experts from the University of Georgia will gather at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Veterans Memorial Park gym to demonstrate what some low-income families face through a role-playing program called “Welcome to the State of Poverty.”


Dawson County Family Connection Coordinator Nancy Stites called it “an eye-opening experience that makes you a little more understanding of the roadblocks and obstacles that many are facing.”


Family Connection, which co-sponsors the event, asked the UGA College of Consumer Sciences Extension staff to come back again after the positive response from last year’s event.


Stites said the program was “very well-received.”


Fellow Family Connection staff member Marjean Miller said the success of the program lies in the lessons learned by those who participate. Miller participated last year.


“Personally, I understand now if you find yourself in a low-income situation how difficult it is to really think about actively improving your circumstances,” Miller said.


Individuals who participate in the poverty simulation play the role of separate families with low incomes. Stites said each are given “15-minute weeks to figure out how to feed and provide housing for their families.”


Those wishing to sign up for “Welcome to the State of Poverty” should contact Dawson County Family Connection at (706) 265-1981.


The deadline for registration is Jan. 27.


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