Groups gathered at the State Capitol in Charleston on Tuesday for the first of a two-day symposium on solutions to child poverty in West Virginia. The event is designed to coincide with the legislature's interim meetings. It's organized by "Our Children, Our Future Campaign to End Child Poverty." The organization is made up of about 160 smaller groups.
Members said it's the next step in a year-long process to identify solutions to the child poverty crisis in the Mountain State. Families, church congregations, businesses, advocates and unions are taking part in the symposium.
The first day consisted of 18 strategy sessions, where community leaders presented their research and proposals for fighting child poverty. Then groups broke up to discuss about to make the proposals a reality.
"We're looking at things like home visiting to make sure we're helping parents who are struggling to know that they have the resources and support out there, and they know where to go in times of need," said Lisa Wottling, a family organizer with WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition.
The second day features a two-hour hearing and "speed-dating" event where families share those proposals with legislative leaders from the Joint Committee on Children and Other Issues.