A non-profit organization is making it possible for thousands of Missouri homeless children to start school with the right supplies.
Imagine the embarrassment of arriving at school on the first day without pencils, paper or other supplies. Feed the Children and state education department are trying to prevent students from that embarrassment by giving supplies to school districts, shelters and non-profits. Organizations serving the homeless are asking for more supplies than in past years, said Department Homeless Coordinator Kim Oligschlaeger.
"Right now with so many foreclosures we’re seeing a lot more homeless students enrolling," she said. "They’re harder to identify."
Part of the reason homeless students are hard to identify is that they don’t just live in shelters, Oligschlaeger said. The definition of a homeless student is one who lacks a fixed regular and adequate nighttime residence, which includes those living in shelters, hotels, motels, transitional housing and those doubled up (living with other families).
Homeless students will likely need additional supplies during the school year, Oligschlaeger said.
"This probably won’t supply districts for the whole school year," she said. "On average districts are getting about 20 or 22 backpacks and maybe 25 zero to five bags so this will go to their most needy families."
For the 2006-2007 school year there were 13,620 homeless students enrolled in Missouri schools.