In an effort to increase the educational achievement of homeless students, the University of Texas/Austin's SHELTRS project will provide new technology resources and expand existing educational resources at four local homeless shelters. Computer networks will enable trained tutors to provide training related to the state-mandated curriculum for over 940 students. The network will give the students access to the same information and resources available to their peers who have computers at home. Tutors will communicate frequently with the students' classroom teachers. Parents will be strongly encouraged to attend tutoring sessions with their children so that they might learn basic computing skills, increase their ability to assist their children with schoolwork, and motivate their children to stay in school.
Each year, approximately 130,000 Texas students in grades K-12 live in shelters, substandard motels, abandoned buildings, or transitional housing. While strides have been made in increasing educational opportunities in these communities, national, state and local education agencies continue to struggle with how to improve the academic achievement of the nation's homeless students. The SHELTRS project will be a model for using technology to address the academic needs of these students by making technology easily accessible and providing educational services to students and their parents/caregivers. SHELTRS offers a possible solution to a national problem by demonstrating how schools and the agencies serving the homeless community can collaborate to improve service to students experiencing homelessness.
Partners include: Youth Options, Safe Place, Community Advocates for Teens and Parents, Children's Shelter, AISD, Southwestern Bell, Boundless Technologies, and Region XIII Education Service Center (ESC).