PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The U.S. Department of Education just awarded $100,000 in federal funds to help homeless child and youth in Pueblo School District 70.
The federal fund was awarded because of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which provides assistance to homeless child and youth considering the impact of COVID-19. This award will allow students to participate in school activities, learning and self-awareness programs.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people experiencing homelessness are at a greater risk to COVID-19 and severe illness. Students experiencing homelessness have a hard time accessing internet, shelter or housing, food, and childcare.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, students experiencing homelessness have become increasingly under-identified and under-served, as learning outside of school building settings may have impeded the critical role of educators and staff in schools and districts to properly identify students,” said Assistant Superintendent Ginger Andenucio. "...this grant will allow us to continue our outreach services to those students who desperately need to connect to a learning environment.”
According to Pueblo School District 70, the award will cover the following expenses:
• providing wraparound services (which could be provided in collaboration with community-based organizations, and could include academic supports, trauma-informed care, social-emotional support, and mental health services);
• purchasing needed supplies (e.g., PPE, eyeglasses, school supplies, personal care items);
• providing transportation to enable children and youth to attend classes and participate fully in school activities;
• purchasing technological devices for unaccompanied youth to attend and fully participate in school activities;
• providing access to reliable, high-speed internet for students through the purchase of internet-connected devices/equipment, mobile hotspots, and/or wireless service plans;
• providing store cards/prepaid debit cards to purchase materials necessary for students to participate in school activities.
• hiring of a staff specialist to oversee the program, provide staff training and planning community outreach services.
The ARP distributed $800 million to support homeless children and youth nationwide in light of the impact of COVID-19.