This morning we have an ASK program in celebration of National Homeless Awareness Week. Students have read the book Monkey Island, and followed the ASK process. They are interviewing a panel of experts who work with the homeless or precariously housed in our county. Here is a sample of the questions:
- Do kids in the homeless shelter get a Christmas?
- How can we help the homeless?
- What are some of the reasons that people become homeless?
- Are run-aways considered homeless?
- What is it like to work with homeless people?
- Are there a lot of children in the homeless shelters? (55% of them are children; the average age of a homeless person is 9.)
- Where do homeless people go if they are sick?
- Why doesn’t the government do more to help the homeless?
- How did you become interested in helping the homeless?
- What’s the most common race in our homeless shelter?
- Is there a time limit for people to stay in shelters?
- Why don’t people want to stay in shelters?
- What do most homeless people do with their pets when they are homeless?
- Is it illegal to be homeless?
- In the book, Clay is scared to go to foster care. What would you say to him?
These programs always emphasize to kids the necessity of a post secondary education and the problems with minimum wage and affordable housing. In Michigan, a person working minimum wage would need to work 104 hours a week to afford a 2 bedroom apartment. In addition, our panelists are always thrilled to see the empathy of the kids and their plans to help the homeless. This is another easy ASK program to copy if you want to get started running ASK programs for your own schools.
We did our Monkey Island yesterday and our students were amazed at how many rules there are in shelters. This is our first year with ASK programs and we continue to get good feedback from teachers about this type of videoconference program.
Thanks for sharing the model with us.
Do you know how this kind of organization got started? Please contact me if you know. This is kind of important.
I’m sorry, Jackie, I’m not sure what you are asking… Can you clarify what you need?