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JPS Partnership With Stewpot Provides Resources to Homeless Community

September 30, 2019

Dr. Errick L. Greene

JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene addresses the audience attending a Stewpot Business Luncheon held in September.

Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene shares his personal experience with family displacement.

According to data released by the Department of Justice, more than 1.7 million teenagers experience homelessness within the United States each year. Between 2008 and 2014, homelessness in America's public schools increased by 90%, jumping from 680,000 to more than 1.3 million students.

The McKinney-Vento Program is an academic program for students enrolled in Jackson Public Schools who have been identified as homeless; typically those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Its purpose is to provide homeless children with the academic opportunities to achieve the same standards expected of all students, regardless of where they attend school. Over 1,800, or 13%, of JPS students were reported to be homeless during the 2018-2019 school year.

The McKinney-Vento Program, previously served by a part-time worker, is now led by a full-time administrator, Dr. Faith Strong. It has been moved from the Enochs facility and is now located at the Enrollment Services and Records building, formally Poindexter Elementary School. The relocation is designed to make it more efficient for displaced families and students to register and receive supplies, reading books, uniforms, and personal hygiene kits.

Through a partnership with Stewpot, a nonprofit organization offering services to Jackson's homeless population, JPS has been able to assist with the needs of families experiencing hardships. Each school year, Stewpot provides an afterschool enrichment program for JPS scholars that offers assistance with homework, tutoring, and recreational activities. The equity toward the education of homeless children is close to the heart of Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene. He shared a personal experience recently at a luncheon for Stewpot.

"While in high school, my family was displaced from our home," said Dr. Greene. "I know all too well how difficult it can be for a scholar to not have a stable home and the effect it has on his or her ability to learn. We stand with all of our partners around the city and state who have pledged to provide the necessary resources to support our Jackson community."

Stewpot also offers summer camps, computer and science lessons, summer reading and art classes.