ERIC Number: ED312355
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
You Can't Get a Library Card if You're Homeless.
Vermont State Dept. of Education, Montpelier.
This guide for school personnel is intended to sensitize them to the special problems of homeless students, to help them meet their special needs, and to help them make school a more comfortable place for these students. It is divided into four areas of particular concern for homeless children. The first, food, makes the following points: (1) since federal breakfast programs may be inadequate, teachers should have snacks on hand for discreet distribution to hungry students; (2) students receiving free or reduced-cost meals should not be publicly identified; (3) students may not have money for food on field trips; and (4) students may not eat the kinds of food usually shown in magazines or cited as examples of good nutrition, and some may exist on only peanut butter or other food distributed free. The second area discussed, shelter, covers the following issues: (1) the problems of communicating with parents who move from temporary shelter to temporary shelter; (2) the fact that these makeshift homes may lack educational supplies like dictionaries and crayons, and even televisions, whose existence at home is usually assumed by teachers assigning programs to watch; and (3) the difficulty for students in handling term-long projects when they may move several times in the course of completing the assignment. The third area discussed, clothing, makes the following suggestions: (1) teachers should not emphasize the importance of stylish clothing or make donations of clothing to poor children known to others; (2) centers for free clothing should be established, with special emphasis on gym attire and other special items needed for school programs; and (3) school showers and washing machines should be made available for student use. The fourth area discussed, self-esteem, recommends that the experiences of homeless students be presented as equal in value and interest to those of more privileged students; and that their particular behaviors, such as an unwillingness to share personal possessions because they have so few of them, be respected. (WS)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Vermont State Dept. of Education, Montpelier.