Feature Film

Poverty: Not a Choice

Recently the Nebraska Loves Public Schools team embarked on a new project that challenged us to look at the issue of poverty in education from a new angle: performance as a force for social change. Poverty: Not a Choice is a special Nebraska Loves Public Schools video series featuring the stories and talent of Nebraska Youth in Poetry.

Directed by Patsy Koch Johns and inspired by the stories of real Nebraska students, each segment in this series explores the day-to-day realities faced by public school kids who are living in poverty across the state. From food and housing insecurity to opportunity gaps in school and extracurricular activities, the Poverty: Not a Choice video series is a deep and honest collection of monologues and slam poetry pieces, all written and performed by real Nebraska students. Hear their stories.


Cierra Austin
Rose Gaffner
Tiauna Lewis
Aden Marshall
Seth Marshall
Arthur McWilliams IV
Rachele Merliss
Samantha Payant
Paul Schack


How to Take Action

Spread the Word

Do your part to help spread the word about how poverty impacts education and how each of us can do our part to help. Schools can't do it alone!

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Donate Resources

Donate resources to a school in need. Call the principal ahead of time to ask what the school needs most and how you can contribute. A simple donation can go a long way – from breakfast bars to extra coats and toiletries, it all helps our teachers and students focus on learning.

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