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Homeless Education Network: A Collaborative Approach

Homeless Education Network: A Collaborative Approach

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Homeless Education Network: A Collaborative Approach

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  1. Homeless Education Network: A Collaborative Approach William Wolfe, Executive Director Homeless Children’s Education Fund Charles LaVallee, Director, Homeless Education Network Homeless Children’s Education Fund Sister Mary Parks, CSJ, Executive Director Sisters Place, Inc. National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Forging the Future: Educating ALL Our Children and Youth 23rd Annual Conference – November 6, 2011 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  2. Homeless Children’s Education FundBackground and History: • Dr. Joseph F. Lagana • “Glued to Television” • “hope through learning”

  3. Homeless Children’s Education Fund2011 Menu of Educational Opportunities • Learning Centers/Resource Libraries • Mini-Grants and Field Trips • Gear for Grades • “Building Blocks for Success” Afterschool Program • C.A.P.E. (Customized Accelerated Programs for Education) • Trainings and Learning Center Meetings See enclosures 1 and 2 for more information.

  4. Research Study: “Educating Homeless Children in Allegheny County: An Evaluation of Families, Agencies, and Services”Dr. Peter Miller and Dr. James SchreiberDuquesne University, 2009 • There is great diversity among homeless families with school-age children in Allegheny County. • Homeless students and parents experience widespread problems with school. • Most parents want to be active advocates in their children’s educational pursuits, but many of them face significant barriers in their attempts to do so. • Agency-based after-school learning centers appear to be highly effective at providing academic and social support for homeless students. • The nature and frequency of communication between schools, community programs, residential agency staffs, and parents is crucial. • Relationships (and the lack thereof) play important roles in parents’ and children’s development.

  5. Research Study continued… “The primary recommendation from the study was the development of a Homeless Education Network (HEN).” • Findings and recommendation were presented at Summit I: Ensuring Quality Education for Homeless Children and Youth on November 20, 2009. • The HEN was then formed and its first meeting was held on April 26, 2010.

  6. Homeless Education Network Integrated Model of Collaboration Enroll, Attend & Succeed in School Family Stabilization School Stability

  7. Homeless Education Network

  8. Homeless Education Network • Primary Partners with Experience • PA Homeless Children’s Initiative (McKinney-Vento) Region 4 • Allegheny County Department of Human Services • Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) • Homeless Children’s Education Fund • Operation Safety Net • Public Schools in Allegheny County • Homeless Providers in Allegheny County • Education Law Center • University of Pittsburgh, Office of Child Development • Duquesne University

  9. Achieving Positive Outcomes

  10. Preventing Negative Consequences

  11. The Homeless Education Network connects and advocates with interested parties, facilitates discussions among partners, serves as catalyst for action, creates effective models, brokers resources and provides a forum for community discussions to ensure that children and youth who are experiencing homelessness are enrolled, attending, and succeeding in school as mandated by The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

  12. Creating Products in Collaboration: “Children who are homeless are among the most educationally at-risk of all students. National research reflects that 45% do not attend school regularly -- a significant predictor for dropping out; 43% repeat a grade; 50% fail academicallyand only one third read at grade level. You—as a provider of services, a supporter and advocate for children and youth experiencing homelessness—can change these dismal statistics and improve the life outcomes of these vulnerable children. The Toolkit provides information about important laws and explains legal rights and how to use them. The Toolkit also offers practical suggestions, resources, check lists and other tools to help ensure that children without housing have access to the full range of public education programs and services and experience success in school.” *Please see enclosure 3 for information on how to purchase a Toolkit

  13. Summit II: Collaborations and Models Impacting Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness “Regardless of how, when, where or even how many times they are homeless, the civil rights of homeless children to obtain an education must be maintained and protected. It is the law, and it is the right thing to do, and every possible measure must be exhausted to ensure it.” –David J. Hickton U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania *Please see enclosure 4 to review the full transcript of David Hickton’s remarks.

  14. Summit III: May 4, 2012 The Rivers Club Pittsburgh, PA “Poverty and The Impact on Brain Development and Learning” Please see enclosures 5 and 6, “Key Findings for the United States” and “Key Findings for Pennsylvania.”

  15. Creating a Strong Network/ Collaboration “Collective Impact Initiatives are long-term commitments by a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. Their actions are supported by a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, and ongoing communication, and are staffed by an independent backbone organization.” - Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Collective Impact” by John Kania & Mark Kramer, Winter 2011, p. 39

  16. Thoughts or Questions?

  17. Contact Information • Bill Wolfe • 2100 Smallman Street, 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 • Office - 412.562.0154 • Email - • Charlie LaVallee • 2100 Smallman Street, 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 • Office - 412.562.0154 • Email - • Sister Mary Parks • Sisters Place, Inc. 418 Mitchell Avenue Clairton, PA 15025 • 412-233-3903 ext. 11 •