In St. Clair County, a shocking 27.5 percent of children live in poverty, according to the latest Kids Count. That's seven percentage points higher than the state average.
Community leaders in East St. Louis talked about things that government needs to change to help children living in poverty, such as more funding for schools in poor communities. Those things may or may not happen in the future.
But Martha Young, president of the Dunbar Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, pointed out what can happen today: "Parents need to ... do what they need to do for their children. We have left the parents out too long."
She is so right to expect more of parents. A parent's greatest purpose is to raise their children so they are healthy and safe. Schools and social programs can help children, but ultimately this is the parents' job. They should be doing everything in their power to ensure their children's well-being.