My amazing students live in a rural area, and more than half survive below the poverty line. They face more as children than I have as an adult. Some come to school hungry. A portion of these students are experiencing homelessness. The homelessness is often due to the opioid crisis that our community is experiences, job loss, and poverty. My classroom is an inclusion class. This means that I teach students with disabilities along with their typically developing peers.
I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.
Despite the challenges my students face from learning difficulties, poverty, and homelessness, they continue to have good attitudes. They are eager to learn. I want to fill their space with the tools that help them to have the same opportunities as children in more prominent areas. My students deserve every advantage.
Each year the teachers at our school are trained how to identify the homeless. The first year that I was trained, I honestly didn't think I would actually have homeless students. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Every year I have several. Families are displaced because of all sorts of obstacles that they face. They are worried about food and shelter; therefore, school supplies are the farthest thing from their mind. Sometimes they show up on the first day of school with nothing at all.
Every child deserves to feel special.
I have built up a supply of basic necessities (lined paper/ pencils). This project is for special materials like pens and heavy colored paper, that cost a little extra. The homeless population could not possibly splurge on them. Please help them out so that they can feel empowered. If they succeed in school, maybe we can break the cycle of poverty.
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