Growing Up Poor

A documentary film screening and community discussion

Poor kids cover

Jan 23, 2024


LaSalle Public Library
305 Marquette St
La Salle, IL 61301


In-person or Live via YouTube

Presented by Illinois Humanities' NEA Big Read program and hosted by the LaSalle Public Library and Oglesby Public Library, this free screening and discussion invites guests to learn more about issues facing families experiencing poverty and share their hopes and ideas for future generations of Illinoisans. Guest speakers will join the discussion to illuminate the realities of intergenerational poverty and what economic and social progress may look like. 

Filmed in the Quad Cities in 2012, the Frontline documentary film, “Poor Kids,” brought Americans into the real day-to-day lives of young children growing up in poverty in the U.S. Their stories and the challenges their families faced were stirring, but not unique: More than 16% of Americans under the age of 18 live in poverty today. 

Refreshments will be provided following the screening. This event is free and open to guests of all ages. 

Join the discussion from anywhere! This event will be streamed live on our YouTube channel.

Guest Speakers

Christopher Merrett, Ph.D., Dean of Innovation and Economic Development and Director of Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs 

Vanessa Hoffeditz, Community Services/Food Pantry Manager, Tri-County Opportunities Council 

About The NEA Big Read

This year, The NEA Big Read: Reconsidering the American Dream invites Illinoisans to explore themes of class, migration, and belonging. Free book groups and events will be centered around two books: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel. Find a book group near you and join us for screenings, discussions, and writing workshops around the state.

Learn More