Back To School
Written By: Heather Lowe -
Back to School season was always an exciting time for me when I was growing up. I loved picking out my school supplies, trying to decide on the perfect “first day” outfit, and wondering who I would sit next to in my new class.
For families experiencing or recovering from homelessness, a return to school can mean much more than the innocence of first-day excitement. A return to school for many means a return to safety and stability, regular meals, enrichment, medical oversight and so much more. The same is even true for very young children in pre-Kindergarten child care centers.
Homelessness in early childhood is associated with delays in language, literacy, and social-emotional development. Homelessness puts children at risk for long-term academic problems, which is tied to drop-out rates. The younger and longer a child experiences homelessness, the greater the cumulative toll of negative health outcomes, which can have lifelong effects on the child, the family, and the community. (Schoolhouse Connection).
However, there is a solution. High-quality early childhood education programs are proven to change this trajectory, positively impacting the children by providing opportunities to overcome learning delays and helping children become “Kindergarten-ready.” Being Kindergarten-ready significantly improves a child’s odds of meeting academic/developmental milestones, meaning the child is far more likely to read on grade-level in 3rd grade, then go on to thrive in elementary school, middle school, and beyond.
Outside the classroom, access to high quality child care lifts up the entire family. When a single mother knows her child is safe with a trusted caregiver, she can pursue an education or seek employment that will contribute to long-term stability.
At CTL we oversee a variety of programs such as Early Head Start and Head Start that provide these invaluable services to families at no cost. We understand that childcare is a critical piece of the puzzle when a mother is working her way out of poverty and toward housing stability and financial prosperity.
As we gear up for back to school season across our programs, CTL is collecting donations of a variety of items:
- Uniforms or backpacks for school-aged children in our housing programs (Note: Fort Worth ISD is providing basic school supplies for all enrolled students this year!)
- Classroom supplies for our child development centers
- Diapers and wipes for our youngest participants
- Cleaning supplies to keep everyone healthy and well
Specific needs can be found on our Amazon wish list, here. Thank you for helping our families succeed!