WCPO: COLUMN: Could reducing our region's childhood poverty rate really be as easy as 1, 2, 3?

Nobody thinks it will be easy to reduce our region's shameful child poverty rate.

But a national expert said Friday there are three seemingly simple things people can do to ensure that they — and their kids — aren't poor:

• Finish high school.

• Wait until they're at least 21 — and married — before having children.

• And work.

Families who do all those things are far more likely to earn more than $60,000 per year and fall into the middle class, said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. 

Those who don't are far more likely to be poor, he said, and have children who become mired in poverty.

"Pick your parents carefully," Haskins told the 150 people gathered to hear him speak at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. "It really makes a big difference."

The Child Poverty Collaborative invited Haskins to town to help inform the group's efforts to reduce Hamilton County's child poverty rate.

Read more at WCPO here.