As a special education teacher in Tennessee, Anne Roth focused her studies in the Master of Arts on the achievement gap between low income children and their more privileged peers. She has seven years of experience working with both inner-city and rural children and adolescents in Tennessee. Roth watched the heartbreaking pattern of children living below the poverty line experiencing an ever-widening achievement gap and wondered how best to teach them. Roth explains, “My passion is to help those children who are born into communities and homes where education cannot be priority because daily survival is often insecure.”.
Her thesis research showed that students fall behind during their time outside of school, so government programs focusing on families with young children, e.g. the early Head Start program, have the greatest impact. Successful programs coordinate with other efforts to consider such important aspects as targeting, developmental timing, intensity, and accountability.
Roth traveled to Haiti this summer to provide assistance to families there that ranged from bringing toothbrushes, setting up a soccer ministry, feeding a village of children and their families, to bringing school supplies to children in orphanages. Roth exclaims, “I am so excited to bring back experiences that will help enrich my teaching strategies and to help those who I work with understand the lifestyle of those living below poverty, whether in our country or elsewhere.”