Public schools and early childhood programs reported a record 1.5 million children and youth experiencing homelessness earlier this year. In the midst of the current crisis, this number is expected to spike and the role of schools has never been more critical – regardless of whether they reopen on a remote, hybrid, or in-person model.

Schools are required by law to identify, enroll, and serve homeless children and youth, but distance learning and other COVID-related complications have made this harder. Without the usual methods of outreach and identification, many families and youth experiencing homelessness may be even more disconnected from school and early childhood programs.

To help inform families and youth about their educational rights, SchoolHouse Connection announces two public service announcements (PSA) aimed at reaching families, educators, community organizations, and local leaders:

A PSA from Sesame Street Workshop with a message from Elmo for parents and children experiencing homelessness.
A PSA aimed at educators and community members to engage them in efforts to identify and assist families and youth experiencing homelessness.

  1. You can view both PSAs – and more information on how to help – here.
  2. Please circulate the PSAs to anyone in your network who is (or could be) involved with efforts to support local youth, children, and families: mayors, superintendents, principals, teachers, community organizations, and others who may be in contact with children and families day-to-day (ex: housing specialists, counselors, social workers, judges, legal aid, librarians, and food bank staffers).
  3. Please use this social media toolkit to help get the word out. It contains sample social media posts, sample email/newsletter language, and other resources to share. You can customize as you see fit.

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