PETOSKEY, Mich. - School districts in the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District are using federal grant funding to better identify and serve homeless students, according to the Petoskey News-Review.

The News-Review reported that an additional 83 students in the intermediate district have been identified as "homeless" since implementation of training on how to identify such students as well as naming a staff person to serve as homeless "liaison" in each district. Those liaisons can use grant funding to purchase such things as clothing, school supplies and tutoring for displaced students, the News-Review reported.

In Harbor Springs Public Schools, the district also received donations of jackets, ski pants and hats from members of the Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan to help students in need, according to the News-Review.

The funding is awarded through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which guarantees homeless students' right to an education, the News-Review reported.

The article did not define "homeless," but information at the U.S. Department of Education Web site says the act covers "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." That would include those living in such sites as campgrounds, hotels, cars or with other people due to economic hardship or lack of alternative housing.

SOURCES:
Petoskey News-Review, "Child homelessness: A growing problem in Northern Michigan," Feb. 12, 2010

U.S. Department of Education, "Elementary and Secondary Education, Part C: Homeless Education."

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "More kids homeless, schools say," Nov. 19, 2008

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