STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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Poverty, as seen through the eyes of children

"There are good days and bad days." 

That's how 12-year old Tyler Smith describes his life in Iowa, where he says he and his sister often go hungry because their mom doesn't make enough money to provide three meals a day for the family. "Sometimes when I switch the [TV] channel and there's a cooking show on," says Smith, "I get a little more hungry. I want to vanish into the screen and start eating the food."

Smith is one of six children featured in FRONTLINE's new documentary, Poor Kids. The film follows three families who live along the boarder of Iowa and Illinois, an area hit hard by the recession. The documentary airs on PBS next Tuesday, Nov. 21, but you can watch a sneak preview of the film in the video below. You can also listen to the panel discussion that follows, which features the film's director and poverty experts:

Video streaming by Ustream

Jennifer is a reporter with Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and worked as a producer for WFUV in the Bronx.
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