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NAEHCY Keynote

Posted Jan 07 2009 6:28pm

On Monday, I had the most awesome time delivering the keynote at the National Assoc. for the Edc. of Homeless Children and Youth conference. Where a caring group of homeless service providers, policy makers, higher education, K12 teachers, administrators and other interested stakeholders gathered, all with the goal of advocacy for those who can't advocate for themselves- homeless and high poverty children. It was awe inspiring talking to and be with such dedicated folks who are making such a difference in the lives of so many.

I arrived Sunday night just in time to hear the acceptance speeches of the Le Tendre Education Fund Scholarships winners. These are all children who have or are currently experiencing homelessness and they want to go to college. Their stories are powerful. Here are their names. Expect great things.

Stephanie Emanuel, Bennettsville, SC
Roni Antoinette Flakes, North Little Rock, AR
Jessica Funk, Kansas City, MO
Chad Gossett, Centre, AL
Syhemia Gray, Elgin, IL
T’airra Johnson, Cleveland, OH
Kenneth Randall Kurfi s, Denver, CO
Amber Lockhart, Edinboro, PA
Beatrice Martinez, Las Cruces, NM
Charlotte Murry, Cleveland, OH
Michelle Rowland, Anchorage, AK
Kristin Schmitz, Arlington, TX
Aruna Sukhu, Brooklyn, NY
Ashley Utzman, Arlington, TX
Simone Williams, Denver, CO

On Monday, I gave my keynote. The title was Unexpected Outcomes:Empowering Those Who Need it Most. Download NAEHCY_keynote.ppt    I am editing my recording and will share the podcast of the event this weekend. Basically, my presentation tells my story of growing up as a highly transient child and unaccompanied youth, intertwined with strategies you can use for reaching at-risk kids and their parents.

I followed that session with one entitled Schooling for Tomorrow: Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide. Download schoolfortomorrow.ppt This was my favorite session ever! We talked about how schools needed to change to truly serve the way technology has changed society, but also to meet the need of the changing demographic of students. I shared this clip that explains what demographers believe the population will look like in a few years and how redesigning curriculum so that it will meet the needs of children who are highly mobile will be critical if schools want to remain relevant.

Then I shared the Hole in the Wall Experiment.  Here is the clip.

P14a From a Businessweek Online Daily Briefing,
March 2, 2000.

An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet         connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens.         Based on the results, he talks about issues of digital divide,         computer education and kids, the dynamics of the third world         getting online.New Delhi physicist Sugata Mitra has a radical proposal for bringing his country's next generation into the Info Age.

We discussed why student centered, inquiry-based approaches were best for at-risk and high poverty students. And we ended with Skyping in several guests from different schools in the US and Canada that serve these populations. (Darren Kuropatwa, Felicia Myers, Jon Hanbury, and Kevin Johnson)

In the afternoon, I had the honor of watching my colleague from my previous school (W.T. Cooke)- Jill Belch, receive her national award for the work she does with homeless children in my home town. She is so deserving. Dsc01748

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