Jim Ott's Posts

The Answer to Everything

I am a person for whom school “worked.” I liked school so much that I gravitated back into school as a career choice serving as a school psychologist for the past 34 years. Like many people raised and living in middle class, I value education as the most effective strategy to improve one’s chances in life. If you work hard at school and pursue an interest about which you are passionate, you can su... »

Eclipsing Poverty – The Power of a Common Goal. Report from St. Louis: Addressing the Challenges of Poverty National Conference

On Aug. 21, 2017 I had the privilege of being in Hopkinsville, Ky. to experience the most amazing natural sight I have ever or likely will ever witness – the total eclipse of the sun. There were many aspects to that experience that impacted me, but one of the most significant was the diversity of the people who came together to view the eclipse in this small Midwestern town. There were young and o... »

Bridges Out of Poverty: Addressing Community Challenges Through Intentional Relationships

There is no doubt that these are difficult days in our country. Communities large and small struggle with brokenness in relationships across race, ethnicity, language, economics and other divisive categories. Conflicts and suspicions seem to lead inevitably to violence. Many of us wait with suspended breath for the next terrible story to break in the media, which for its part is ever-ready to poun... »

Poverty is a context, not an excuse

The new school year has arrived and with it the opportunity for me to do a number of presentations to various school districts and other organizations on the subject of dealing with kids from poverty. In my first week of school, I had the privilege of speaking to school bus drivers, city bus drivers, the K-12 faculty of one of the rural districts I serve and the small staff of a brand new alternat... »