Saturday, July 1, 2017

Meeting Needs Of Homeless Youth: Public Schools vs. Government | PopularResistance.Org

Meeting Needs Of Homeless Youth: Public Schools vs. Government | PopularResistance.Org:

Meeting Needs Of Homeless Youth: Public Schools Are Doing What Government Won't Do Directly

Food is served to students at Public School 397 in New York, November 21, 2013. (Photo: Joshua Bright / The New York Times)


Above Photo: Food is served to students at Public School 397 in New York, November 21, 2013. (Photo: Joshua Bright / The New York Times)
Dr. Art McCoy, superintendent of schools in Jennings, Missouri, is a humble man. But when he speaks of his school district as “a lighthouse for informed practices that respond to the needs of homeless and low-income kids,” his pride is obvious.
As a leader of the movement pushing public schools to address the overlapping emotional and material needs of impoverished students, Jennings is a model — stepping in to provide food, shelter, health care and consolation to students who need it. Not surprisingly, school districts throughout the US are looking to Jennings for inspiration, especially since federal and state governments have done very little to assist this population.
Jennings is adjacent to Ferguson, the small city that was catapulted to prominence in August 2014 after police murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown. Each of Jennings’ eight public schools — with an enrollment of 2,600 students, most of them poor and 160 of them homeless — have “comfort rooms”: private spaces where students can meet with counselors and address the obstacles they’re facing.
“The biggest issues for our students are domestic violence and the death of a loved one,” McCoy states. “About 2,000 of our 2,600 enrolled students see school-based therapists each academic year to address the multiple traumas in their lives.”
This alone would be a staggering achievement, but Jennings schools do far more: They distribute more than 8,000 pounds of free food every two weeks, and no-cost washers and Meeting Needs Of Homeless Youth: Public Schools vs. Government | PopularResistance.Org:

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