WHAT IS THE MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS EDUCATION PROGRAM?
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program provides supplemental instructional and support services for homeless children and youth, with the goal of enabling them to meet the same rigorous academic standards set for all children, despite the obstacles created by their homeless condition. Becoming homeless is highly disruptive to students in many ways, manifested by school absences, changes of schools, difficulty in transferring school records, lack of adequate clothing, food, and shelter, anxiety and social/emotional issues, and even health related problems.
WHO ARE HOMELESS CHILDREN?
School-aged children, youth and pre-school children who are currently without a fixed or adequate night-time residence may qualify for program services, according to the program guidelines. Qualifying situations may include children residing in:
- Temporary shelters, including domestic violence shelters
- Hotels and motels
- “Doubled-up” housing, where one family is living with another due to loss of housing stemming from financial problems
- Other public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation, such as abandoned buildings, cars, vans, camping areas, etc.
- Transitional housing for families
- Other special situations
WHAT McKINNEY-VENTO SERVICES DOES Effingham County School DISTRICT PROVIDE?
Since August 2007, Effingham County’s McKinney-Vento Program has provided supplemental services to more than 500 homeless children and youth in Effingham County. Our primary objective is to help children and youth continue to maintain their academic levels while they are homeless, through supplemental tutoring and advocacy services. A number of other related services are available as well.
Assistance is offered to both parents and school districts to ensure that homeless students are in the appropriate classes and grade levels, and are receiving all of the services available to them. Resources and referrals are made available as needed.- COUNSELING
If needed weekly group sessions can be provided. Topics may include anger management, dealing with grief, peer pressure, self-esteem, goal setting, etc. Referrals for one-on-one counseling and individual family counseling are also available.
- SUPPLEMENTAL TRANSPORTATION
When no other resource is available, after-school transportation is arranged and provided to homeless children who want to participate in the after school tutorial program.
- AWARENESS SESSIONS
To raise awareness of and sensitivity to the unique needs of homeless students, workshops are periodically scheduled with a variety of school personnel throughout the county, including teachers, guidance staff, social workers, nurses, secretaries and district homeless contacts. Sessions are held countywide, or can be arranged for individual districts or schools.
- PARENT ACTIVITIES
Several times each year we schedule parent workshops for the homeless parents involved in our program. A variety of topics are presented, such as stress management, role modeling, health issues, the importance of encouraging your child to read, and being involved in your child’s education.
- HEALTH SERVICESThrough the McKinney program, we are able to assist with scheduling appointments for health services such as immunizations, eye exams and dental exams.- SCHOOL SUPPLIES
Homeless children participating in our program are furnished with all the school supplies they need – from backpacks to paper, pencils, calculators and uniforms.