Support Children Living at DC General’s Homeless Shelter‏

10295549_710102709028232_4106679170363888880_o (1)​There are hundreds of children living at the DC General’s Homeless Shelter, and many of them attend schools on Capitol Hill.  The Playtime Project has organized a Back-to-School Drive to provide support for these children as they start the school year.  As you shop for school supplies and clothes for your children, please consider purchasing extras to donate to this Back-to-School Drive.  Many people have already generously donated, but the need is still great.  Backpacks are particularly needed as are school supplies and uniforms.
 
 
Uniforms:   Homeless Children’s Playtime Project  says that “School uniforms will become an urgent need almost as soon as the school year begins. There are over 500 children living at DC General without easy access to laundry facilities. The closest laundromat is nearly 1 mile from the shelter. When children don’t have enough uniforms to get them through the week, they’re often forced to attend school with a dirty and wrinkled uniform. Help us spread the word about this wish list:”   http://amzn.com/w/SGKH8FLM7WFU
 
Playtime Project’s Backpack Drive 2014: Backpacks are very much needed for students in the next two weeks.
 
School Supplies Fall 2014:  BecauseDCPS students are expected to bring in their own supplies:
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At Back-to-School Time, Help Provide Uniforms for Homeless Children in Capitol Hill Schools

It’s back to school for our kids – and homeless kids living in a decrepit shelter just a few miles from the Hill.

When you buy back-to-school supplies and clothes for your kids, please consider buying uniforms for a few of the 100s of homeless children who attend public schools on Capitol Hill.

It’s easy to help: Buy one or more uniforms on Amazon and the items will ship directly to the Playtime Project (the organization districting them to DC General families): http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/SGKH8FLM7WFU/ref=cm_sw_su_w

With the ongoing news of terrible conditions at the old D.C. General Hospital (especially in the wake of Relisha Rudd’s disappearance), this uniform drive is something we can do to help children living day-to-day at a shelter just around the corner.

Ask a co-worker and a friend or neighbor to purchase a uniforms too. Purchases are tax deductible.

More info about the uniform drive here: https://www.facebook.com/ClothetheKidsCapHillUniformDrive

New uniforms for these kids WILL make a difference! They need a uniform 5 days a week and not only do they have the means to buy enough shirts and pants for 5 days, there is no clothes washing facilities at DC General, making it very hard to go to school in clean uniforms.

We understand from teachers and advocates for homeless kids that clean clothes (which this uniform drive provides) can help cut down on bullying (sadly) and improve the confidence and sense of dignity of the child.By Liz Festa and Beth Bacon

 

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Ward 5 Council on Education Panel Discussion- June 24

On June 24th, the Ward Five Council on Education is bringing together representatives from eight of the agencies that comprise the DC education system for a panel discussion. Each of the agencies in attendance will give an overview of their respective organization, their role within the system and how they interact with parents and their children. Most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the question you’ve been waiting to ask! Our goal is that those present will walk away from the meeting with a good understanding of DC education landscape and how to find resources that will allow them to make the best decision for their family. To join us, RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-conversation-on-dc-education-landscape-tickets-11955008753 (you do not have to RSVP to attend but RSVPing is helpful for planning purposes).

WHAT: Community Conversation on Navigating the DC Education Landscape

WHEN: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)

WHERE: Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library – 5401 South Dakota Ave NE, Washington DC 20011

RSVP: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-conversation-on-dc-education-landscape-tickets-11955008753

WHO:
RaeShawn Crosson-Settles,Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Mary Lord, DC State Board of Education
Shanita Burney, District of Columbia Public Schools
Scott Pearson, DC Public Charter School Board
Erika Wadlington, DC City Council Committee on Education
David Street, Washington Teachers Union
Aryan Bocqut, My School DC
Joyanna Smith, Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education

If you have questions or concerns please feel free to email us at ward5coe@gmail.com. We hope you’ll be able to join us!

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Capitol Hill Uniform Drive Kick Off: Support ALL Children in Our Area Schools – by Liz Festa

20140516_105025_2CHPSPO and the venerable Playtime Project at the DC General Shelter are proud to kick off the Capitol Hill Uniform Drive from the week Memorial Day to the end of the school year. The uniform drive will benefit children living at the shelter and with limited access to school clothing, hygiene items and laundry facilities.

From green to grey, pale yellow to red, white and blue, we have assembled over 1,230 uniform items and hundreds of pairs of underwear, socks and toiletries for the 310 kids designated as homeless (in the shelter or unstable/temporary housing) attending school right here in Capitol Hill area public schools. That’s according to our tally (based on calls and OSSE data.)  Their identities are kept confidential and they are housed in small rooms at the DC Shelter, where conditions are by all accounts deplorable, lacking sanitary outdoor play areas, hot water and laundry facilities.

I would like to say 310 kids, but the number is 309 now without Relisha Rudd, who is still missing and who attended Payne Elementary School in our neighborhood and disappeared from here, as well. This uniform drive is a tribute to her and others children who are among the ranks of DC’s growing homeless family population.

At the peak of hypothermia season (late February/early March), there were over 1,400 children living in emergency shelters in DC. Of these, about 600 children were living at DC General Shelter, at full capacity. The rest were placed in motels on the outskirts of the city and in recreation centers. Overall, the number of families living in emergency shelters had increased by 130% since just last year.

Right now, there are approximately 500 children living at DC General Shelter.After consulting with homeless families advocates, we learned that uniforms are of vital importance to the dignity and well-being of kids while in our public schools. Kids just want to fit in and don’t want to come to school in the wrong clothes or soiled ones. They are very conscious of clothes that are too small, sweat stains, lack of deodorant, the same shirt appearing unwashed several days in a row. Bullying and stigmatizing of kids who are living in challenging conditions can ensue.

So, with that in mind, we have worked up a list of all the colors and sizes kids at local public schools need.

There are about 15 schools included in the drive, from Amidon-Bowen to Walker Jones, where the homeless population ranges from 1 to 82, but those numbers are always in flux and tend to rise through the year.

The biggest need will be for the ubiquitous white shirts and navy or khaki pants in large sizes. We’ve “shopped” for you!  You will find these and all the  sizes and colors needed, including generic clothing items for the schools without a uniform, at the Amazon wishlist on the Playtime Project and CHPSPO websites. Donations made through the Playtime Project are tax-deductible as the Project is a 501(c)3.  Because it serves children and teens at the shelter, the Playtime Project is best equipped to fill the needs of the kids at the point of day when they need the uniforms. They know all the kids, and know that they like to go to school already dressed in uniform, the better to blend in with their peers.
Clothing bought on-line and donations will be collected at Evolve Property Management though their kind donation of space at 1344 H Street NE.  Evolve also served as a point of collection for the DC Holiday Pajama Drive.

Be sure to thank them!

Other partners include the Maury Elementary Girl Scouts and some talented elementary school artists in the area who have created posters and will be distributing their own flyers throughout the neighborhood, as will Eliot-Hine Middle School students.

Ready to donate or get the word out to others?

  • Help us get the word out by telling your school communities, friends and neighbors

Extra clothing can be used at a number of schools with the highest need. For example, Miner, Maury and Payne have similar uniform codes and are quite close to each other. Children grow every month, it seems, and will quickly need new clothing, so don’t worry about too many white shirts or khaki pants and navy skirts/dresses!

*The schools are Amidon-Bowen, Brent, Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan, Eastern SHS, Eliot-Hne, Ludlow-Taylor, Maury, Miner, Payne, Peabody ES, School within a School, Stuart Hobson, Tyler, Walker Jones, Watkins, and J.O. Wilson. —  Of those, Peabody did not have a homeless population (at the time of our tally) and Eliot-Hine has a grant for uniforms at this point needs toiletry items.

Thanks so much!

Email Liz Festa with any questions twodecks (at) comcast (dot) net