The number of children living in poverty has grown faster in Colorado than anywhere else in the nation. The 2010 Kids Count in Colorado report found the number of Colorado children living at or below the federal poverty level has risen 72 percent between 2000 and 2008 and the number of children in Colorado public schools eligible for free or reduced lunch grew by 38 percent in 2007. Ensuring that children are properly clothed and have the necessary supplies to participate in school can have a dramatic effect because it helps children stay in school, promotes learning, and encourages self-esteem. The Educational Services of America (ESA) learned through the district truancy officer that, "in many cases students were not coming to class simply because they didn't have clothes or school supplies."
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