Did you know that more than 22,000 children in Chicago Public Schools are without a home?
To help our Skinner North students understand this issue, all watched a short, age-appropriate film clip about homelessness from the perspective of those who experience this first-hand. Afterward, volunteers from La Casa Norte, a Chicago nonprofit that serves youth and families experiencing homelessness, led an engaging & informative dialog with our students about homelessness and how even our youngest students can help address this issue.
Following the presentations, students participated in a service project, creating toiletry kits and fleece blankets. The 500 toiletry kits and 70 blankets made by our students will be donated to La Casa Norte, Mercy Housing & Night Ministry, organizations which support the homeless either in our surrounding community or work directly with CPS youth who are homeless.
A big "thank you" to the 40 parent volunteers who helped students with the in-classroom project/cut fleece at home, the countless families who generously donated toiletries and fleece, our Skinner North teachers and administration, and La Casa Norte for making this meaningful experience possible for our students!
Below is information for two films our students watched in case you are interested in viewing them:
Every Child Deserves A Bed - La Casa Norte (shared with our kindergarten - 3rd graders):
This short video illustrates some of challenges homeless youth face in Chicago based on client testimonials and highlights some of the work La Casa Norte does to serve the homeless.
The Homestretch (shared with our 4th - 7th graders):
This documentary focuses on youth homelessness in Chicago and features 3 CPS students. The filmmakers of this documentary generously provided an edited version of this documentary for our Skinner North Students as it as not yet been released to the public. If you're interested in viewing this film in its entirety, it will be aired on PBS on April 13, 2015 at 9:00 p.m.
(click for more photos)