Little Hands Help the Homeless
Overview What's it like to be homeless? How can children help? Many inner city schools like Boston's Josiah Quincy are near homeless shelters that may intimidate young children. When they understand the world around them, youngsters discover they can make a difference in that world. Throughout the year, students learn what it's like to be homeless, why people become homeless, and realize that even some working folk are homeless. They share this information with their younger buddies and read them stories about homelessness. A successful toy and clothing drive and a Pennies for Pine Street Inn campaign empowers both organizers & contributors. By spring, students and their reading buddies hold a clothes race to demystify homelessness for the school community.
Assessment Hold periodic conferences to evaluate students involvement and participation in toy and clothing drive and pennies campaign. Design pre-post survey on myths about the homeless. Hold oral and written quizzes on reading comprehension of books about homelessness. Observe and discuss feedback on assigned roles at learning festival's clothing race.
Software or Materials Used For software Kid Pics, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photo Deluxe; for documentation: digital camera; for posters & clothes race: art supplies, cartons, discarded clothing, cones; for books on homelessness see list.
Keywords Buddy Reading, Homeless People, Homelessness, Mentoring, Shelters, Shared Reading, Soup Kitchens, Street People
Final Words Little Hands Help the Homeless works at any level. As hands and hearts grow, the scope and breadth of activities should widen. Starting with the youngest prepares older children to take on more responsibilities and address the root causes of homelessness.
Teacher Tip Schedule a toy and clothing drive before or after holidays or early in the spring when families are cleaning. Make sure you practice the clothes race with your class before staging it for a big event. It's worthwhile but takes organization. Start small.
E-mail contact Jennifer Rosher firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher Bio Jennifer Rosher teaches second grade at the Josiah Quincy School where she would happily stay for the rest of her career. She graduated Summa cum Laude as well as a Golden Key National Honor Society Member from the University of Massachusetts Boston and recently finished a master's in education at that university. Jennifer's ten-year experience in her community's South Boston Neighborhood House gave her an excellent background in social issues. Her goal is to help children see their connection to the world around them. This will help them realize they can make a difference now as students and later as community activists.
Subject Areas All
Grade Levels Grade 2 students read to Grade 1 students