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University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 11:30 am; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Jersey County
201 W. Exchange St.
Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Teachers Participate in Live-Action Poverty Simulation

STAUNTON Ill. – Approximately 80 educators from the Staunton School District, participated in a poverty simulation offered by University of Illinois Extension at Staunton High School, on Friday, March 2. The simulation entitled “Community Action Poverty Simulation” (CAPS) promotes a greater understanding of poverty through a live-action simulation.

During the poverty simulation, participants role-played the lives of low-income families from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security. Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families. However, unless a person has experienced poverty, it is difficult to understand what these individuals must go through. Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) bridges the gap from misconception to understanding. CAPS is an interactive immersion experience. It sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty. CAPS is not a game. It is based on real Community Action clients and their lives.

During the simulation, participants reenacted living a month in poverty and experienced a low-income families' life. After the simulation, participants discussed what they experienced and brainstormed ideas for community change. Continuing education credits were available for educators who participated.

Poverty in Macoupin County:

·         Poverty Rate 2015, 13.7%, point change in poverty rate from previous year 0.8 pts increase.

·         Number of People in Poverty, 2015, is 6,192, which is an increase of 324 people in poverty from previous year.

·         Child Poverty Rate 2015, 21.1%, this was a 1.4 pts increase from the previous year. 

·         Median Household Income, 2015, $50,460.00, Percent Change from previous year is 2.1%

·         Annual Income for One Parent Family with a Young Child and Child, 2015, is $58,214.00.

·         Average Amount Poor Families’ Income Falls Below the Poverty Line (i.e. mean income deficit), 2011-2015 is $7,983.00.



For more information about hosting a poverty simulation in your community, please contact Amanda Cole, County Director, University of Illinois Extension, 217-532-3941 or by email

University of Illinois Extension provides practical education that helps people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. For more information visit the Unit 18 website at or contact your local Extension office.


University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office. Universidad de Illinois ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en programas y empleo. Si usted necesita un ajuste razonable para participar en este programa, por favor póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina.



Local Contact: Amanda Cole, County Extension Director,