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Riley Students, Staff Stand Up For Those in Need

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego elementary school students decided to “Stand Up and Speak Out Against Poverty.”

Students at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School were joined by staff members as they stood up to be counted last Friday.

Standing up against poverty and inequality was the theme recently at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School. Among the students involved in “standing up” were (left to right) Justin Haines, Owen Warner, Mackenzi Belson, Madison Belson, Samuel Metcalf, and Joseph Powers.
Standing up against poverty and inequality was the theme recently at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School. Among the students involved in “standing up” were (left to right) Justin Haines, Owen Warner, Mackenzi Belson, Madison Belson, Samuel Metcalf, and Joseph Powers.

The “Stand Up Against Global Poverty and Inequality Campaign” involved people from throughout the nation.

The Oswego students and staff joined the effort in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records.

Teacher Tracy Klefbeck said, “The effort was to encourage all of those participating to stand for one full minute, as a way to acknowledge their awareness of poverty. As a show of unity everyone was asked to wear something white.”

Continuing she said, “Dr. Edwards of SUNY Oswego and Ian Searle made me aware of this event and the Charles E. Riley students and staff rallied around it and became quite involved.”

Klefbeck noted that the previous record involved 43.9 million standing against poverty and inequality in 2007 and a year later 116 million stood strong.

Organizers noted that this event is conducted to create an awareness of global poverty and the commitment made by global leaders to reduce, by 50%, the numbers of people living in abject poverty by the year 2015.

Statistics are quite interesting especially in regards to New York State and Oswego County.

Though it might seem hard to believe, New York State has the highest poverty rate of all northern states.

Nationwide the poverty rate is 12.4% while in New York State it is 14.4%.

In Oswego County the poverty rate is 17.8%.