That's the latest number, by the way -- one in three of West Virginia's 387,000 young people live in poverty. That means they face every problem that poverty brings -- poor nutrition, lower school achievement, ill health, less employability, more violence and time in prison.
The rate goes to 42 percent for African-American children, 50 percent for children of single mothers, 63 percent for children whose parents did not graduate from high school and 71 percent for children of unemployed parents, says this week's report from the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy.
At the symposium, one participant asked Unger how the committee would stay focused and not suffer the fate of others, so that nothing comes of it.
"On this committee, we are going to stay focused on what's best for - not the children - but the child," Unger said. "See, I said 'best interest of the child.' We say 'children' and all of a sudden we kind of lose this thing, because it's a big group with a bunch of kids.
"No, we need to go down to the micro level and look at an individual child and say, 'What's in that child's best interest?' and make it real."
The Senate Select Committee on Child Poverty plans to meet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. during the session in Senate Finance.
Miller, the Gazette's editorial page editor, can be reached at d...@wvgazette.com.