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Summer Camp For Kids Experiencing Homelessness Offers Martial Arts, Dance, Cooking And Stability

CPS
Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU
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This past school year, Cincinnati Public Schools served 3,320 students who are experiencing homelessness through Project Connect. The program, founded in 1996, is part of a federal law requiring school districts to remove barriers affecting children experiencing homelessness. According to Project Connect Program Manager Rebeka Beach, it has really expanded in the last few years.

"This department is dedicated not only to removing the barriers to education associated with homelessness but also really diving into how homelessness affects a student and their ability to learn and the trauma associated with housing instability," Beach says.

Project Connect offers more than just school year support. CPS provides a summer camp as well. After a year of mostly remote learning, some students in the summer camp faced the additional challenge this year of being displaced in a hotel.

"When students are highly mobile and move from school to school you will see a loss in learning," Beach says.

The summer camp not only includes reading and math enrichment to help students catch up on academics, it also provides programs to address trauma.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Project Connect is Program Manager Rebeka Beach; and Cincinnati Public Schools Teacher Justin Harris.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.