Many of our students are living in cramped living conditions (small apartments in public housing) with many members of the family occupying this small space, often with grandma being the head of the family. Some students are sharing workspaces with many siblings. Some students are sharing one piece of technology. Over 68 Department of Education colleagues have succumbed to COVID-19. All too often we hear of another colleague losing their battle. In my building, over a dozen staff members fell ill, with many reports of their family members or friends losing their battle. What we don't hear is the silent battle our families are experiencing. We are aware of some students losing family members, and, more painfully, we lost one of our graduates, a young lady who had the world ahead of her.
Eighty-three percent of our students are disadvantaged; many of my DonorsChoose projects focus on essential needs (food, clothing, school supplies), and COVID-19 hasn't changed these needs; the needs have just become far more dire.
Every (regular) school day is a struggle for our students who live in the most dire poverty-stricken home circumstances. 1 in 125 New Yorkers are homeless. In my school, nearly 4 in 125 students are in temporary housing, including shelters. These students need food in their homes. This food is often given to them in school for consumption, and also to take home for later (long weekends, holidays). Now they are trapped, with little to no access to food and/or snacks. Food is the priority, but some family fun with this computer science DVD and snacks will help create strong family bonds while reinforcing the importance of computer science.
So many people complain they are bored being at home, I constantly think about my students who are hungry, living in temporary housing, or are in domestic violence situations.
COVID-19 has forced them into homes for an indeterminate amount of time without the essential needs they are typically supplied with at school.
This project will deliver the most vulnerable students much-needed food and access to a family movie night.
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