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The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara

             After reading "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara, I was inspired to inform myself with the issue of poverty and its effects on educating children. You can infer from the story that the children are poor and are not very well educated. In the article entitled "Education and Poverty Reduction," I learned many interesting facts that I had overlooked in the past. A focus point of the article was that education is empowerment. It gives people in a poverty stricken lifestyle two main opportunities. The first opportunity is the personal choice to control one's environment, and the second is the self-confidence to unlock their full potential. A third main point in the article is that poverty itself hinders an effective education. Poverty can be overcome if an education is pursued.
             One can only control what they know. Without someone to educate them children do not have the proper skills to take control of their own environment. Instead, the environment controls their lives as they know it. The article states, "The combination of increased earning ability, political and social empowerment, and enhanced capability to participate in community governance is a powerful instrument for helping break the poverty cycle" (1). Children who become educated have the ability to rise above the lives into which they were born. Many basic skills are required through education, skills that can be enhanced with the opportunities that arise from their initial education. This gives children the choice to use those skills and better themselves and their future.
             People who gain education whether early as a child, or as an adult gain a sense of self-confidence along with the new knowledge they have acquired. The confidence they gain gives children an early start and helps them continue to further their education. The article reads, " It gives disadvantaged people the tools they need to move from exclusion to full participation in their society" (1).

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