Katrina left more than 1 million people homeless, including over 200,000
school age children.
More than 136,000
children from New Orleans and 35,000 children from six counties in
Mississippi will not go back to their schools any time soon because
the schools were totally or partially destroyed. The number of child
refuges is likely to climb as we hear from more small, rural school
systems in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. (Source: NPR
article on returning children to school)
As families leave the most devastated areas, many will disperse to
friends and relatives homes across the country. These
people are not self sufficient anymore. They are stunned and helpless,
not ready to start their lives over in a new city with a water bottle
and a few vouchers for food.
As Mike O'Connor points out in Education
Rights of Homeless Children,
"For children who have been traumatized by the loss of home,
friends, and perhaps death or injury of family members, returning
to school is not only important for educational purposes; attendance
at a school becomes an oasis of normalcy for them." In
this article, Mr. O'Connor summarizes the basic education rights of
all homeless children and the rights of children with disabilities.
The article includes websites that offer more detailed information.
Coordinators for Homeless Education - Every state is required
by federal law to have a State Coordinator for Homeless Education.
This person is responsible for ensuring the understanding of and compliance
with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in public schools
throughout the state.
Center for Homeless Education - The Center provides research,
resources, and information enabling communities to address the educational
needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Online Forum - A service of the National Center for Homeless Education
Online Training Presentations - PowerPoint Presentation, sample
letters, and many PDF information handouts for administrators and
for Educating Homeless Children
for Homeless Children and Youth Program - Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 Non-Regulatory Guidance, July 2004
Guidance for Homeless Children in the School Nutrition Programs
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
for Survivors of Hurricane Katrina
to Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - This is an incredibly
comprehensive database of information for survivors of Hurricane Katrina
and for those who want to help from Meredith Warshaw of the Uniquely
Gifted site. Ways
to Help includes links to all kinds of disaster relief information
- how to register with FEMA, information on finding loved ones, housing,
donations, how to volunteer, schooling & homeschooling, and animal
rescue. There is also section with Houston-specific information. Read
Tips about Donating
Katrina Disaster Relief:
Information for People with Disabilities and People Who Want to Help
Them - Information about people who are donating space in their
accessible homes, people who need accessible homes; how to donate
time, durable medical equipment, disposable goods; more.
Health Care Professionals
- The Office of The Surgeon General and the Office of Public Health
Emergency Preparedness are mobilizing healthcare professionals and
relief personnel to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. If
you have expertise as a health care professional, please go to https://volunteer.hhs.gov
or call toll-free number 1-866-KAT MEDI to volunteer.
Support Systems for Community Members
and Girls Clubs of America
Pages for Kids with Disabilities