Do you immediately have a vision from a TV show, or have you been to a downtown area and passed by someone pushing a shopping cart piled high with “stuff”?
What you don’t see are the children. There are approximately 800,000 homeless children and youth were enrolled in public schools. There are many causes for this: lack of affordable housing, low paying jobs, substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, foreclosure, illness…and the list goes on. Children are the innocents in a world where adults make poor choices have issues they are working through.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that defines homelessness and provides federal money to shelter programs. This law also protects the educational rights of children so they can remain in their school of origin and provides a district liaison to help coordinate and eliminate barriers.
Locally, Project R.I.S.E. (Realizing Individual Strength through Education) in conjunction with Akron Public Schools, provides liaison services, tutoring, clothing, shoes professional development, arts and literacy, and the Love and Learn Doll Project.
Our part of the ministry is to make Love and Learn Dolls for the young children. We do this in a way so that interested people can participate without knowledge or experience with sewing. Project R.I.S.E. meets at UPC on the second Saturday of the month, beginning at 9:00 a.m.