National Association For The Education Of Homeless Children And Youth

Rating: 4.86 stars   22 reviews

Issues: Human Services

Location: P.O. Box 26274 Minneapolis MN 55426 USA

Mission: In a given year, over 1.35 million children are estimated to experience homelessness in America. Homeless children are now among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. Federal legislation broadly defines homeless children as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition not only includes children living in shelters, but also those living in cars, motels, trailer parks, substandard housing, shared housing (due to the loss of housing or economic hardship), and other places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for humans. According to the most recent data available, 25% of homeless students resided in shelters and 50% resided in doubled-up situations.In the 1980''s and 1990''s, federal response to the growing crisis of homelessness in America led to the awareness that only 55% of homeless children (K-12) were regularly attending school. Data from 2000 reveal that 77% of homeless children (K-12) were regularly attending school, and 15% of homeless preschool children were enrolled in school programs. Although the 2000 data has shown significant progress in the attendance of K-12 students, one out of every four homeless children is still not attending school and six out of every seven preschool children are not enrolled in early learning programs. Undoubtedly, much work remains to be done.Compared to their peers, homeless children are more likely to suffer from health problems, developmental delays, learning disabilities, emotional difficulties, and mental disorders. Furthermore, the high mobility associated with homelessness has been shown to negatively impact a child?s education. Research findings on mobility and academic achievement reveal that compared to their housed peers, mobile students are half as likely to graduate from high school and twice as likely to repeat a grade.NAEHCY''s mission is to connect all those working in homeless education - educators, advocates, researchers, parents, policy makers, and service providers - in the effort to ensure the academic and overall success of all children in homeless situations. We fervently believe that education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness; therefore, we work to ensure that vulnerable children receive an education and be afforded the greatest opportunity to succeed in life.
Programs: NAEHCY's programs include:(1) Organizing an annual national conference convening educators, advocates, researchers, and service providers to provide professional development and networking opportunities in addressing the educational needs of homeless children(2) Administering the LeTendre Education Fund, which is a scholarship program for homeless youth who have demonstrated academic achievement and are pursuing higher education(3) Monitoring and analyzing legislation impacting the education of homeless children (e.g. Head Start, IDEA, McKinney-Vento)(4) Developing position papers, policy recommendations, and advocacy tools for members, stakeholders, and national partner organizations(5) Communicating with Congressional offices and federal agencies to advance NAEHCY's recommendations(6) Collaborating with national organizations such as housing, homeless, domestic violence, education, child welfare, and faith-based organizations on policy strategy and action(7) Providing professional development training at 60-70 national, state, and local conferences per year, including local Head Start agencies, school districts, homeless coalitions, statewide homeless liaison conferences, and national conferences such as Title I, Head Start, Health Care for the Homeless, Runaway and Homeless Youth, and National Network for Youth.
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

NAEHCY is an amazing organization run by passionate advocates, many of whom work as volunteers. NAEHCY organizes a conference every year for professionals in the field of homeless education and homeless services. They provide technical expertise and advocacy for people working with homeless children and youth at all levels of service provision – local, community, school district, regional, state, and among peers at the national level. Just one example of their great work: A student in a western state had been homeless for 6 years and had not had a stable home during that time where he could complete school. Given all those challenges, he was about 2 years behind schedule in completing high school. He turned 19 but was completing 10th grade. This student had talent as a singer and had won many school and regional competitions, but he was denied the ability to compete at the state level. The state office on extracurricular sports and activities said that he was too old to compete in singing with other high school students. Their reasoning was that his advanced age created an unfair advantage for him over other children and youth. NAEHCY advocates assisted the state education office in understanding the student’s rights under the law and also in recognizing how critical extracurricular sports and activities are to all students, since those competitions might create scholarship and job opportunities. This particular student was not at any advantage over other students, since he had not had a consistent school experience and had an unstable home life that disrupted his education. By competing, this student had the opportunity to earn recognition that could help him in supporting his future educational needs. Extracurricular activities help kids in many other ways as well, from building leadership skills to networking; this kind of involvement helps to develop the whole person and offers a complete education. These battles are fought every day in communities all over the country. I, for one, am so thankful that NAEHCY is there to provide expertise and support to professionals in the field of homeless education.

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the way they helped me develop as a professional.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they work well as a team to solve problems, rally support, and get the job done efficiently and effectively.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, committed, and knowledgeable.

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About every month

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

NAEHCY is a wonderful organization with which I'm proudly affiliated. NAEHCY's good work is most easily observable though its LeTendre Scholarships - a select group of youth, whose lives have been disrupted by homelessness but who nonetheless pursued an education for themselves, are awarded college scholarship funding. It's a remarkable experience for the students, the organization and the hundreds of association members who attend the annual LeTendre Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Just as significant but far less visible, NAEHCY's small, dedicated staff and team of volunteers work tirelessly to ensure federal, state and local policies best support the educational needs of temporarily housed students and families as well as the school district homeless liaisons upon whom the students so often depend. As the economic downturn has put pressure on families, children have become hidden casualties of Wall Street's collapse; they inherit parental stress and endure their families' losses. The impact of this housing instability too often manifests in the classroom, thereby extending the effects of today's downturn well into tomorrow. Please join me in recognizing NAEHCY's efforts to combat these risks.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

talented, dedicated and creative - a truly impressive bunch!

Ways to make it better...

there were more ways to get involved throughout the year.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

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