Imagine this: You are an elementary student. You have parents and some siblings, ride the bus to school and back home again, and have friends. Life sounds pretty normal, right? It is, except for one big difference: you are also homeless.
This is everyday life for Brianna, Tamara, and Sydney Collins, daughters of James Collins and Felicia Blue. The couple has six children and the entire family currently lives in a 13′ x 15′ room with three bunk beds at a homeless shelter. Every morning, the girls look forward to going to school at Fern Creek Elementary School, if for no other reason than to escape their cramped space. Surprisingly to many, their story is not unique.
Twenty percent of the students who attend Fern Creek Elementary School in Orange County, Florida, are homeless. For many of these children, going to school is a bright spot in their days.
“They love Fern Creek,” James said. “I can’t say nothing bad about Fern Creek.”
While at school, the homeless children get to spend time with their friends and learn their basics, such as math, sciences, and reading. After school, the students go back to their homes and families. However, one night of every month is dedicated to further learning. The students are picked up from the shelter then return to school to learn; sometimes their parents accompany them. The most recent learning night was Literacy Night. Brianna Collins won a raffle sponsored by her principal for a new bicycle and matching helmet. The students also won books and listened to a storyteller from the Orange County Library System.
Do you want to help homeless children in your area? There are many ways that you can do so. You could volunteer at an after school program, such as a reading workshop at your local library. You could help serve meals at food banks. Or you can make contributions to local charities that help homeless families, such as the Homeless Families Foundation. There are also websites, such as DonorsChoose.org, that accept donations for classrooms that are in need. You could improve the quality of education that a homeless child receives in this way.
Via The New York Times
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