KISS: Keep It Simply Socks for Homeless Kids
Adapted from Little Hands Help the Homeless
Shirley Schwarz
teaches multi-handicapped students at Charlestown High School.

Students:Collaboration between Special Education classes & National Honor Society (NHS) members

Collaboration with Charlestown High Teachers
Karen Prussing
& Teacher/Author, Lauralee Summer;
Boston Women’s Commission, Patricia Nickerson
Emergency Shelter Commission, Kim Fernandes
Horizons Initiative

Students interview Lauralee Summer

Classroom Activities
Read Massachusetts College of Art student publication Homeless A Resource Guide for Students & Teachers
View video Walk in My Shoes courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Education
Interview Lauralee Summer, Charlestown High teacher & author of Learning Joy from Dogs Without Collars
Create poster Homelessness Causes & Victims
Design flyer advertising Socks Drive
Make & decorate Socks Drop Box
Work with NHS members on School Raffle
Community Activities
Visit Boston City Hall
Interview representatives from Boston Women’s Commission & Emergency Shelter Commission
Display poster for school community
Distribute flyers throughout school
Place Sox Drop Box in Main Office
Conduct raffle for school community
Visit Horizons Initiative & present socks & funds collected from Socks Drive & School Raffle for women’s & children’s home
Share reflections
Teacher Reflections
Walk in My Shoes was an eye opener. Learning about a homeless family dispelled preconceived notions. With a better understanding of the issues of homelessness, students asked informed questions when interviewing Lauralee Summer. It was wonderful for them to have a visiting author describe her own experiences. Ms. Summer stressed the importance of keeping a journal of life events no matter how unimportant those events may seem. Students were surprised to learn that she started her journal at an early age and kept it for several years. . . . They understood that loss of education is a serious outcome. Some homeless children never learn to read, and many drop out of school because they have no stable place to stay, no quiet place to study. Students voiced concern that this could become a cycle.
Student Reflections
Rosie: When we interviewed Lauralee Summer, I was surprised at how easy it is for a family to become homeless and how emotional it must be not knowing where you might sleep at night and not having privacy or a quiet place to study.
Rene: Homelessness is a hopeless situation for people of any age. When small children and young people are homeless, it is especially tragic. I learned that these homeless individuals want a better life, that they are not terrible people, and that they appreciate our understanding and compassion. Like me, they have dreams. I hope they can realize them.

TeachNet Service Learning is administered by Boston Public Schools Affiliate IMPACT II @ High School Renewal.
Supporting TeachNet are Special Assistant to the Superintendent for High School Renewal, Kathleen Mullin; IMPACT II Affiliate Director Barbara Locurto; WebMaster Andrew Binns; Web Advisor Linda Younis, High School Renewal; School to Career Program: Linda Younis; Project Assistant Jean Gibran. For more information, email

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