Roanoke Rapids Graded School District received $45,000 this week to help students who are deemed homeless. The district will receive $15,000 a year for the next three years as part of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless sub-grant. By definition, students are identified as “homeless” if they reside in emergency shelters, motels, hotels, RV parks, cars, parks, public spaces, or abandoned buildings, and those sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason. RRGSD currently has more than 80 homeless students.
“This grant will enable us to offer after school tutoring for these students and pay for some of them to attend our after school Place to Play program. Research shows that many of these students lack a quiet space to complete homework assignments. For that reason this money will assist them in staying on grade level,” said Tom Davis, Executive Director of Student Support Services.
The McKinney-Vento Act was established in 1987 to ensure the right of students to go to school even when they are homeless or don’t have a permanent address. The Act aims to reduce barriers that have prevented many homeless youth from enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school due to circumstances beyond their control.