More Colorado children living in poverty |

More Colorado children living in poverty

Karen Auge
The Denver Post
LaKetra Richardson, center, and her two kids, Joshua Richardson, 4 left, Alice Littlejohn, 2, and her partner, Roger Littlejohn, make blueberry muffins for dinner in their apartment inside the Sun Valley Denver Housing Authority complex by Federal Blvd. and 11th Ave., Wednesday, October 14, 2009. Judy DeHaas, The Denver Post

Joshua Richardson’s days unfold about like any 4-year-old’s.

His mom, LaKetra Richardson, pulls him from under his Spider-Man covers way too early every morning so she can get him and his 2-year-old sister, Alice May, to preschool and still be on time for work.

At 4, he knows his letters, his numbers and what time “SpongeBob SquarePants” – or, Spunk Bot Care Pat – comes on.

He has no idea, though, that he is part of one of the nation’s fastest-growing demographics: children growing up poor. Or that his home state leads the U.S. in that growth.

Colorado’s number of children living in poverty grew 73 percent from 2000 to 2006 – the nation’s highest rate of growth, according to the Colorado

Children’s Campaign.

The percentage of Colorado kids in poverty grew from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 15 percent in 2008, according to U.S. census data reported last month.

Colorado is by no means home to the most poor kids. The national average last year was 18.3 percent of children living in poverty, the Colorado Children’s Campaign said.

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