Students From Sharon Help Others

From a recent article in the Sharon Advocate/Wicked Local

Did you know that there are 50,000 homeless children in Massachusetts? And, the average age of a homeless person in the commonwealth is eight years old?

The children of two classes at the Cottage Street School in Sharon learned these facts from Cheryl Opper, the founder and executive director of Schools on Wheels MA.

The second graders of Ms. Palter and third graders of Ms. Kauffman listened to Opper discuss the problem of family homelessness to help the students get a sense for what their peers may be feeling when they become homeless and need to move into a family shelter.

Opper asked, “What would you bring in your suitcase to a shelter if you had to live there for a while until your mom or dad got back on their feet?” This stimulated a vibrant discussion amongst the children.   ……(more)

After Opper’s presentation, the children became engaged in this social cause and listened closely to how they could help. They launched a two-week Read-A-Thon to benefit the children whose lives have been impacted by homelessness. The students in the two classes were given pledge sheets and asked to commit to reading 20 minutes a day. They were asked to speak with their family and friends about family homelessness and how they are helping to raise awareness and money for this cause.

At the end of the two weeks, students in the two classrooms raised $1,200.

“I am humbled by the generosity and hard work of these children. This project has provided such an important lesson at an early age,” commented their teacher, Ms. Palter. In recognition of this accomplishment, Opper will return to the Cottage Street School to award these two classes a Certificate of Appreciation for their efforts and distribute School on Wheels wristbands to each student.