CHARLOTTE, NC – A Child’s Place has received a $75,000 grant from the American Honda Foundation, based in Torrance, California for My Place Summer Day Camp.

A Child’s Place is a non-profit organization working to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. During the summer, A Child’s Place hosts My Place, a free academic enrichment summer camp for 160 of its highest need client homeless children (rising 1st-8th graders). My Place includes three hours of math, reading and writing, guest speakers, field trips, swim lessons and much more Monday through Friday. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and bus transportation are also provided.

The agency does not receive any federal or state funding. Without financial help from the community, A Child’s Place would not be able to provide vital social work services to homeless children in Charlotte. Last school year, the agency served 2,228 homeless children in Charlotte, or about 45% of the identified homeless children attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

“The top three sources of funding for A Child’s Place are foundations, individuals and faith and civic organizations,” said Annabelle Suddreth, Executive Director of A Child’s Place. “And most of those charitable dollars are local, not national.”

The foundation received more than 350 applications for its February 1, 2013 grants deadline. A Child’s Place was one of seven recipients to receive funding. Part of the grant process included a site visit to the offices of A Child’s Place and to two schools within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system that host social work teams from A Child’s Place.

“I have to commend our staff, the schools’ principals and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), the organization we’ll be partnering with for My Place this summer,” Suddreth said. “Without their teamwork and cooperation, our site visit would not have been as successful as it was.”

The American Honda Foundation values A Child’s Place’s efforts to ensure that homeless children stay focused on their education not only during the school year, but the summer too, said Nichole Whitley, program officer with the American Honda Foundation. During the summer, homeless children typically lose two or three months of their educational momentum and the highest-need client children of A Child’s Place simply can’t afford to do that.

“We know homeless children face many barriers to education, but through a partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, A Child’s Place helps bring them a sense of normalcy so they can focus on what should be their main concern: getting an education,” Whitley said. “A Child’s Place continues that effort with My Place summer day camp, which provides a safe, nurturing and fun environment during the summer so homeless children can continue to make gains in reading and math.”

From Charlotte Chamber,  May 13, 2013

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