Saturday, November 28, 2009

Being Homeless Children

During this financial crisis let's not forget the children. On CNN this morning I saw a segment where 75% of kids in a school in Nevada are homeless and came to school hungry until the principal, Sherrie Gahn, changed things. She turned things around through private and public partnerships where the children not only get meals but clothes, shoes and haircuts. There is even a birthday party once a month for all of the children who have birthdays where there is pizza, presents, and loads of fun. The parents participate by volunteering for various progams. During this incredible difficult time for many families, let's not forget these in and around our communities. We can make a difference. Let's do whatever we can.


Dave Wheeler said...

Auntie "J",

The story of Ms. Gahn and Whitney Elementary is a terrifically special one indeed. It illustrates that the barriers many schools have to overcome in trying to provide all kids with a superior education are caused by factors they have no control over. I would encourage everyone to become advocates for building level administrators, teachers, support staffs and parents of the schols in their communities. Far to little of the resources and funding allocated to public education actually finds it way to the school level. Increasing school level funding and giving each school's "community" more flexibility to meet the needs of the folks they serve are critical first steps in improving our local schools.

Terriic story Auntie "J", thanks for sharing it!

Judith Ellis said...

"Far to little of the resources and funding allocated to public education actually finds it way to the school level."

This is so true. More than a few administrators should be in jail for not mismanagement of funds but for outright theft. What has gone on in Detroit is shameful. A lot of it looks outright criminal. What was impressive to me is the partnership developed between various sectors and the shared communal responsibility. This is good for America. I'm concerned about future generations. We will not be able to compete globally without a educated well trained populace.

Diane Nilan said...

The story about Whitney School's principal caught my eye too, and I hope to swing by on my way to AZ next month to visit the school.

Having devoted many years to ensuring homeless kids have access to education, it's heartwarming to read these accounts. Too bad we can't clone Ms. Gahn and others like her.

Glad I found your blog! Kudos.

Judith Ellis said...

Dear Diane,

What wonderful work YOU do! Thank you so very much. I too am glad to have found you. Besides ordering your book, I'd like to see how I can further help you. Arianna Huffington has begun a wonderful initiative to eradicate hunger among children worldwide and has started a section on the Huffington Post dedicated to making such changes, IMPACT.

Do find Arianna's articles on homelessness on the Huffington Post. Maybe an article about your work can be written there too. Perhaps, I will do just that. Keep the faith! You are not alone in your efforts and there are many who would like to help. Thanks again. Your work matters and YOU do too!

All my best,


P.S. Happy to have found you.

Diane Nilan said...

Funny you should mention Huff Post. Ironically, Fox Chicago just did a really nice piece on HEAR US and me. Huff picked it up and has shared it.

Will keep in touch. I firmly believe that a "compassion epidemic" is within our reach.

And, we've got an exciting new documentary that is nearing completion on women, most parents, all experienced homelessness. It makes me cry every time I view it. "Best Kept Secret" is our working title.

Thanks for your kind reply! Best to you in your efforts.

The Write Girl said...

Hi Judith,

You are certainly right. We must consider people who are suffering for the holiday season. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Judith Ellis said...

D - Fantastic! I will drop Arianna a note about your work too. Will check out the HuffPost link and look forward to seeing the documentary. Do keep us posted here.

Judith Ellis said...

Hey Katina - Yes, the holiday season for sure, but all year around too. Children can't be forgotten any time of the year. As a compassionate soul, I know you understand this. Thanksgiving was great! I hope you had a wonderful day.