School Districts across the state identified 40,000 homeless children and youth in Fiscal Year 2022, enough to fill most every seat at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia School District identified its highest number of children and youth experiencing homelessness – 8,383 in 2022! This is a 7% increase from 2019 and a 94% increase since 2014.
Thankfully, the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided $36 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s ‘Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness’ (ECYEH) program, which subcontracted more than $3 million to the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). SDP expanded its capacity to provide staffing to train school personnel in 300 public district and charter schools and provide direct services like uniforms, transportation, mentoring, summer programming, school supplies, and more.
By Sarah Vrabic, Project Manager, Everyday Learning Play Spaces
As the Everyday Learning Play Spaces team is busy constructing play kitchens, painting chalkboard walls, and meeting with families to design interactive murals, we are thrilled to simultaneously benefit from the generosity of a new partnership with Barbershop Books!
Barbershop Books aims to expand reading opportunities for young Black children, particularly Black boys, by bringing books with protagonists of color into everyday spaces. Our team became acquainted with the Barbershop books team through another one of our partners, Read by 4th. We realized we had similar missions and a shared goal of enhancing young children's everyday environments so they inspire reading and learning through play for the entire family.
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