Epic Curriculum


Understanding Poverty


To understand, in financial terms, what is meant by “the poverty line” — and to develop an awareness of what constitutes a “living wage” in the United States.


Ending Poverty in Community (EPIC) introduces participants to the epidemic of poverty in the United States and to the steps they can take to work with the poor in eliminating the root causes of poverty today. The curriculum comprises six lessons with classroom-ready handouts, warm-up exercises and reflection activities that reinforce student learning and inspire a faith response.

The first four lessons provide the foundation. Lesson 1 features a PowerPoint presentation that answers the question, "Who is poor in America today?"  In Lesson 2, participants reflect on the causes of poverty and the barriers faced by those who are poor. Lessons 3 and 4 help participants reflect on the epidemic of poverty through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.

The curriculum culminates in Lessons 5 and 6 with the Ending Poverty In Community (EPIC) Action Project – a strategy for identifying a local community need and working with the poor to address that need.

Finally, the Appendix provides additional action strategies and templates for participants to use to help educate others about poverty and to advocate with the poor.

  1. Putting a Face on Poverty
  2. The Causes of Poverty
  3. A Place at the Table
  4. Walking with Christ
  5. Epic Action Project: Identifying Community Needs
  6. Epic Action Project: Responding to Community Needs
  7. Appendix