21 Aug “Back to School” for homeless children – Part 2
Last week, I shared how homelessness significantly disrupts a child’s education. If you missed it, you can read the blog here.
So…how do we work to mend the tragedy of a broken education?
Wheeler’s Center for Women & Children (CWC)
The average family stays at the CWC for 6-9 months, and we typically host 5-10 school-aged children at a given time. We have a tremendous opportunity to help families stabilize and, in turn, set the children on a trajectory to succeed in school and graduate.
Enter our Revive program. A child’s academic success starts right at home and is largely dependent on breaking the cycle of homelessness. So we work to revive and stabilize the whole family unit. In Revive, moms are engaged in parenting classes, career development, GED prep, and life skills classes, and children are immediately plugged into school. Together with the mothers, the Revive staff collaborate with Indianapolis Public School social workers and teachers to ensure the children have an excellent and uninterrupted school experience. This web of support makes certain each child’s needs are continuously met in and out of the classroom.
Collaborating to help our students thrive.
Life in a shelter can be chaotic, not conducive for quality studying. But the CWC is a nurturing, home-like environment designed so that everyone—especially our youngest guests—can feel safe and thrive. Looking forward to our expansion, we’ll soon have permanent spaces set aside for quiet studying. In the meantime, our building’s lower level is reserved three nights a week for one-on-one tutoring with School on Wheels volunteers. Tutors work with our children to ensure homework completion and a mastery of subject material.
Our School on Wheels partnership also empowers mothers to advocate for their children’s educational journey. They learn community resources and are taught how to navigate the educational system. Enroll Indy comes to the CWC several times a year to help guests in our program and emergency shelter navigate the lottery process for kids needing to enroll in kindergarten.
A bright future.
Friend, the tragedy of homelessness has many layers. But through community collaboration, advocacy, and care, our children can have a future of stability, flourishing, and learning…none of which would be possible without YOUR friendship and support!
Thank you for standing with us as we care for families and children in need.