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K-State Today

February 15, 2017

K-State students and faculty to lead poverty simulation

By Elaine Johannes

Poverty simulation graphic

Poverty is a reality for many individuals at K-State. A fall semester leadership studies class survey of 525 undergraduates revealed that 134 respondents were worried about whether their food would run about before they had money to buy more. 

In Manhattan, 26 percent of residents deal with the challenges of being poor in a city that is known for economic growth. But unless you've experienced poverty, it's difficult to truly understand its impact.

A coalition of Manhattan organizations with leadership from Kate Behan and Elaine Johannes, faculty members in the School of Family Studies and Human Services in the College of Human Ecology, will host a communitywide poverty simulation from 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Harris Activity Center, 530 Poyntz Ave.

Behan and Johannes are facilitating the interactive immersion experience which sensitizes participants to the realities of poverty. Assisting with the simulation are Jill Haake, undergraduate in family studies and human services, Olathe, and Annie Greenwell, a December family studies and human services graduate, Lee's Summit, Missouri.

K-State Research and Extension, Thrive!, Everybody Counts, Shepherd's Crossing, First United Methodist Church and CASA's Stepping Stones also will be part of the Feb. 25 poverty simulation. 

Registration is free and required by Monday, Feb. 20. Register or find out more online. When directed, indicate whether you want to be a "participant" or a "volunteer." A volunteer will play a provider role during the simulation. Three professional continuing education units for social workers and contact hours are available. 

Childcare is not provided during the simulation, which is for individuals ages 18 and older.

For more information, contact Elaine Johannes at ejohanne@k-state.edu or 785-532-7720.