Homeless Children’s Education Fund http://www.homelessfund.org/, phone - (412) 562-0154
It was a record year for Homeless Children’s Education Fund’s Champions for Children event on March 5, a highly successful celebration and fundraiser to support HCEF’s educational programming for children experiencing homelessness. Scott and Susan Lammie served as the events chairs, Ralph and Ruth Anne Papa were honorary chairs, and Brett and Sarah Keisel were honored guests.
Robert Fragasso, a long-time friend and active participant with HCEF, received the 2012 Champion for Children Award. John Lovelace, President of UPMC for You, Inc., received the Linda A. Dickerson Service Award. And, much to his surprise, HCEF Founder Dr. Joseph Lagana was the first recipient of the new Volunteer of the Year Award. He has been a volunteer since HCEF’s founding in 1999, and the award will be named after him.
As far as the weather’s concerned, the celebration is that spring seems to have come earlier than expected, and with it, opportunities for new projects. Continuing into 2012, HCEF plans to partner with several additional housing agencies, offering backpacks, books, and educational programming to the children there. In addition, new partnerships with program instructors will bring more fresh, fun programs to the children, such as puppetry and art therapy.
HCEF will also hold a spring book distribution to its current partners to refresh the shelves of their resource libraries. A group of Pittsburgh University graduate students have volunteered to reorganize and categorize the books, as well as set up displays and decorations to make the libraries more attractive to the children and their families. It’s all in a effort to further encourage the development of literacy skills.
Transitioning into spring is most exciting for children, whose creativity and ambition seems much more vibrant. A recent renovation to the learning center in one of the housing agencies has created a new, kid-friendly space to play and learn. As the kids transition into the new room and into spring, it is our hope that it inspires them further to exercise their imaginations and make leaps of progress in their education.