Press Release – LOS ANGELES — For homeless students in Los Angeles, the holidays will be a little brighter, thanks to the gift of 250 stockings filled with toys, school supplies, toiletries and personalized notes, provided by employees of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Center. The stockings will be distributed to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District Homeless Education Program.
Established 10 years ago by the LAUSD Board of Education, the Homeless Education Program works with educators and community organizations to ensure that homeless students have access to public schools and academic programs. The program also provides students with essentials such as backpacks, school supplies, clothing and transportation.
“The challenges homeless students face are daunting, from getting to school every morning to finding a safe place to do their homework each night,” said Gerun Riley, president of The Broad Foundation. “The holidays can be an especially difficult time for these children, and we wanted to do something special for them during this season of giving. We are grateful for the essential work that the Homeless Education Program does every day to make academic success possible for all students.”
Currently, 11,481 students benefit from the Homeless Education Program. Employees of The Broad Foundation and The Broad Center recently spent an afternoon stuffing stockings and writing notes to the students who will receive the gifts and supplies. The stockings will be distributed by the LAUSD program to the highest-need students.
Every year, thousands of students in Los Angeles experience homelessness, which often comes with increased exposure to violence, trauma, health issues and transiency. Homeless students are more likely than their housed peers to struggle academically, repeat a grade and drop out of school. The Homeless Education Program helps students cope with those challenges and removes barriers to their success. The program facilitates school enrollment for students, supports educators who work with them, and provides assistance with medical, dental and mental health support, among other services.
“Each year, thousands of Los Angeles students face homelessness, and all the academic challenges that come with it,” said Angela Chandler, interim coordinator of LAUSD’s Homeless Education Program. “Our students need not only academic support but also school supplies, toiletries and clothing to excel in the classroom each day. We are grateful to The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Center, as well as other organizations and donors like them, who help our students reach their potential.”
Earlier this year, The Broad Foundation gave $1 million to endow after-school homework centers for homeless and low-income students at nearly three dozen branches of the Los Angeles Public Library, ensuring students have school supplies, access to computers and printers and a quiet, safe place to study.
For the past two years, the foundation and the center have held school supply drives before the start of classes each fall, with employees donating scores of backpacks, notebooks, pencils and other materials each year.
Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, visit www.broadfoundation.org.