Going to school should be an exciting time in a child’s life. It is a time when they are discovering who they are and the impact they can make in this world. For some children, going to school can be filled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. E.D.U. (Everyone Deserve Underwear) program wants to help ease the stress on students so they can thrive in their school and personal lives.
Addressing the issue of student homelessness is vital to the future of our communities. We want to ensure that our youth receive the necessary support to break the cycle of poverty and tackle the many challenges they face like:
- Sexual Violence
- Substance Abuse
- Lack of basic needs (e.g., hygiene products, underwear, access to showers, etc)
The Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH) estimates that there are over 1.5 million students that experience some homelessness during the school year. Each of these students has different and unique experiences with homelessness and the place they call ‘home.’
Our vision is that children should be able to focus on learning life skills and not have to worry about having clean underwear to wear to school.
The goal of the Everyone Deserves Underwear (E.D.U.) program is to partner with School Administrators and the School Nurse's Associations to boost self-esteem and confidence in students so they can focus on building their future and not their wardrobe.
E.D.U. Helps To Fill The Gaps
Even though there are federal laws and regulations in place for supporting homeless students, many school districts still fall short in terms of funding and resources to provide necessities like underwear. The E.D.U. The program will help fill some of the gaps that Acts like the McKinney-Vento and Every Student Succeed cannot fully cover.
The McKinney Vento Assistance Act is a federal law created to support the enrollment and education of homeless students. The key to the act is that it provides homeless students the same educational opportunities as housed students by removing as many barriers to learning for homeless students as possible. Eligible school districts that receive allocated funds by the federal government and distributed by the state governments can cover services like (but not limited to):
- Transportation to and from school and extracurricular activities
- Tutors or other academic supports
- Specialized training and professional development for teachers and school staffers
- Basic school supplies
Pilot Program in Phoenix Arizona
We are excited to launch the pilot program for E.D.U in Phoenix, AZ, Maricopa County. We will work closely with the School Nurses Committee of the Department of Education to identify school districts that need our services.
Arizona Stats and Facts from the Center for Homeless Education: AZ Stats and Facts
With your support and partnership, the E.D.U. Program will support homeless students trying to create a better future for themselves and their families.
Make sure to check out our August 1-31 Back To School Undie Drive