The Veterans United (VU) Foundation and some others are exploring the issue of economic mobility in Columbia. VU Foundation president Erik Morse says it’s a complex issue.
“And all the different things that are tied to that, from early childhood literacy to transportation, housing. And it’s not one single issue, and there’s not one single solution,” Morse says.
About 45 to 50 percent of Columbia Public Schools (CPS) students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, according to CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark. VU Foundation president Erik Morse says while Columbia has a lot of needs, it also has many caring people with resources and the heart to help.
“I’m getting very excited about what I think is going to be the next couple of years, some very significant positive changes in upward economic mobility. That they’re going to change the future of our community forever,” says Morse.
VU held a recent book fair at Shepard Boulevard elementary, where each of the school’s 500 students brought two new books home for the summer. The book fair’s aim highlighted the issue of book access for younger children.