Learn about the education rights of foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness, and how to advocate for these rights during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in light of nationwide school closures.
Materials referenced in this presentation:
About the Presenter: Jill Rowland is the Education Program Director at the Alliance for Children’s Rights. Jill is an expert in every area of education impacting foster youth, including early intervention, special education, general education, school discipline, and interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Jill has grown the Alliance’s Education Program in response to client needs: from pioneering legal representation for early intervention services to addressing the unique trauma-related education needs of foster youth. Her approach led to the creation of the Foster Youth Education Toolkit and its Court Companion, the training of thousands of school district and foster/probation system personnel (including social workers, probation officers, attorneys, and judges), and multiple school districts adopting improved foster youth policies. Jill is passionate about providing foster and probation youth with an equitable education so they can succeed in life. She earned her JD at UCLA School of Law, specializing in Critical Race Studies. She majored in Communications and Sociology at UCSB.
Distance learning has been a challenge for all students and their families, but for the estimated one out of 20 children in California experiencing homelessness, the challenges can seem insurmountable.
The pandemic has intensified the economic disparities, putting the neediest students at a further disadvantage.
“I am very scared and terrified for our families and our students,” said Charles Evans, the executive director of School on Wheels. “They’ve had to overcome so much with being homeless and then you add that other layer of distance learning.”
Coverage from NBC Los Angeles
Pandemic Intensifies Economic Disparities for Neediest Students
Homeless Students Get Help With Online Learning
Distance Learning Presents Extra Challenges to Homeless Families
Coverage from LA Times
In a year fraught with uncertainty it can be challenging, yet essential, to note glimmers of hope. Hope comes when volunteers support students in their formative years. Hope comes when donors and supporters fund programs that enhance marginalized communities. Hope comes when frontline workers dedicate themselves to serving their community. We give thanks for all these glimmers of hope and we give thanks for your support—not just of School on Wheels, but of any of the thousands of organizations that are working to make our community a better place.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to our community of supporters. Your time, talents, and contributions have allowed us to match more than 2,000 amazing kids with their very own tutor. Because of you, our students got the support that they wouldn’t have received otherwise. May this act as a reminder that a little hope goes a long way. Please continue to take care of yourself and others as we embark on this season of thankfulness.
Even though Halloween wasn’t the same this year, we were able to bring some spooky fun to students with candy, goodie bags, and decorations thanks to a dedicated donation from City National Bank.
In this 60-minute webinar, PBS SoCal’s early learning content specialist will explore strategies and concepts to aid educators in working with early learners via Zoom and other digital mediums.
About the Presenter: Suzie Hicks is PBS SoCal’s early learning content specialist, merging high-quality public media with engaging and effective curriculum both in and out of the classroom. Her background comes from informal educational institutions (aquariums, summer camps) and digital media. She is currently in production for her first book, Zaynab the Great and the Giant Plastic Monster, and works with local youth on STEM and environmental education initiatives.
Download a PDF of the slides HERE.