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DPS uplifts displaced students during MLK National Day of Service

Donations for Dayton Public School students who don't have a stable home.
Dayton Public Schools
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Dayton Public Schools
Donations for Dayton Public School students who do not have a stable home. Backpacks and personal hygiene items are always needed.

DPS collected donations to help students who don't have stable living environments.

January 16 is Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service.

In honor of this, Dayton Public Schools is hosting a donation event to support displaced students. Donations will be collected in the parking lot in front of the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center from 8 a.m.-to-4 p.m.

Angela Worley is Academic Coordinator of Community Outreach, Student Activities and Family Engagement for the system. She also organizes the school system’s event benefiting students served by the McKinney Vento Program—a federal program that ensures all displaced and homeless children have equal access to education. According to Worley, more than 400 students don’t have a stable living environment.

A stigma Worley said is especially hard on pre-teens and high schoolers.

“They perhaps have younger siblings they’re taking care of. They are sleeping in perhaps abandoned properties, they are couch surfing,” explained Worley. “As they get older, there’s a bit of a pride factor as well. No one wants to be the kid in school who doesn’t have a place to go at night.”

Today, people can drop off personal hygiene items and back packs at the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center. It’s located at 741 on Washington Street in Dayton, Ohio.

Worley said backpacks are vital for displaced youth and serve many roles. “There is a tremendous amount of students who are couch surfing. So they use those backpacks often times as pillows to lay their heads on, they can place all of their items in them as they move around. The backpack is just something they can call their own.”

Worley said there are displaced students in almost every school district in the country, making this a national crisis. All school districts have a McKinney Vento Program. Thus, Worley urges people to contact their local school district and find out how they can support this humanitarian effort.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).