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257 Lawrence St
Hartford, CT, 06106

(860) 721 7876

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness launched be homeful in December, 2014. This campaign is a bold and innovative project designed to help Americans stamp out family homelessness for good. Our mission is to end homelessness one family at a time for the 1,000 families in Connecticut that experience homelessness in any given year.

While shelters across the state are bursting at the seams, there is currently no major source of funding to keep struggling families from slipping into homelessness in moments of crisis. By making funds available to keep families in the comfort of home, we can help break the cycle of homelessness that can carry forward across generations.

Through community partnerships and collaboration with families across Connecticut, the be homeful project will establish the first state-wide emergency assistance fund for shelter diversion. This fund will be accessible to case workers serving families at the front door of shelter and will reimburse expenses for rental assistance, security deposits, gas cards and other sundry expenses tied to diverting family from shelter in favor of actual homes.

Ages 2-4

the be homeful project: pre-k lesson plan (ages 2-4)

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The big idea

Having a home helps us feel safe and protected. We can work together to make sure everybody has a place to call home.

Learning objective

To explore the importance of having a home and discuss ways we can work together to make sure all children have places to live.

In the real world

We all know that having a home is important, but not everyone is lucky enough to have one. By allowing students to recognize the importance of a home, we are helping build a foundation for them to understand homelessness in the future.

Time frame: 30-40 minutes

EDUCATIONAL GOALS

To educate students about homelessness and encourage thoughtful community engagement.

CORE STANDARDS

CCS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1, 1.A, 1.B, 2, 3

What makes a home? [Compelling question based on "what makes a community?"]

MATERIALS

IMPORTANT TERMS

  • Experiencing homelessness vs. homeless person

  • Rent, gas, groceries, heating

ACTIVITIES

  1. Go over rules of discussion. Be respectful of other people's experiences (CIV K.4: Apply civic virtues when participating in school settings). Supporting question:

    • How can I listen and respond to my classmates' ideas?

  2. Follow agreed upon rules for discussions while responding attentively to others when addressing ideas and making decisions as a group. (CIV K.5)

  3. Warm up: Teacher hands out "When someone says home" worksheet.

  4. Students will have time to draw what makes them feel at home. (INQ K-2.1)

    • What did you draw?

    • What makes you feel at home?

    • Why is having a home important?

    • What does having a home provide to the people who live there? (Supporting question)

    • What does my family do to cooperate? (Supporting question)

  5. Reading discussion and closure: Teacher reads "Paddington."

    • What did you notice about the story? Did Paddington have anywhere to stay when he got off the train at Paddington station?

    • Paddington was homeless until the Brown family took him home with them (INQ K-2.15)

      • How do you think Paddington felt when he did not have a place to call home?

      • The Browns were a regular family who decided to help.

      • How are the Browns part of their community? What do they offer? (CIV K.2)

    • What can we do if we have a friend like Paddington who doesn't have somewhere to stay? (INQ K-2.16)

      • In what ways can people contribute to their community? (Supporting question)

      • Find a trusted adult. Who are our trusted adults? Teachers, parents, school nurse, etc.

      • Their parents can call 211 for help.

      • Draw a picture of what you would like to give to a person who doesn't have a home

TAKE-HOME LESSONS

Reinforce the distinction between "helping the homeless" and "ending homelessness" by holding a "marmalade drive" in honor of Paddington's favorite food. Kids can teach their families what they have learned and build the social safety net for children in their communities by collecting change for their local "be homeful" fund, which frontline workers from the shelter system can access to help local families facing imminent homelessness remain housed rather than enter the shelter system in the first place. You can order free supplies for your marmalade drive, including Paddington bookmarks and special Paddington Ambassador cards for children in your class, by filling out this form.

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Win a visit from Paddington.

Paddington is coming to Connecticut! Raise money for your local be homeful fund and win a visit from our “spokesbear" himself. The class that raises the most will win a visit from Paddington, and all classes who hold a drive will be entered to win an additional visit from our favorite bear.

Start your class's marmalade drive here and be entered to win a visit from Paddington.