UT Dallas Helps Homeless Believe in College Dreams

Kids’ University Returns to Campus With Inspiration-Filled Curriculum

June 9, 2008

UT Dallas will host 100 children from 16 Dallas area homeless shelters for a weeklong taste of college as part of  the 13th  annual Kids’ University.

The program, to be held in cooperation with Rainbow Days Inc. on June 9-12, will culminate in a special graduation ceremony, at which Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert will deliver the commencement speech. 

The children will get instruction in science, algebra, art, karate, tennis, dance, and smoking and drug prevention.  The Museum of Nature and Science will provide a class on electricity, and the USA Martial Arts Leadership Academy will offer a martial arts demonstration.

Classes will be at the Campus West Building at UT Dallas.

“Rainbow Days and I developed the idea of Kids’ University some years ago to give homeless children a taste of the university,” said Dr. George Fair, dean of the School of General Studies at UT Dallas.

Two years ago, Kids’ University helped children of families driven from New Orleans by the hurricane  in a special program developed with the support of  the Fidelity Children’s Learning Fund at UT-Dallas, Dr. Fair said.

The commencement ceremony gives the children a chance to experience graduation.  They don mortarboards and march across stage to receive their diplomas and shake hands with Dr. George Fair, dean of General Studies at UT Dallas. Mayor Leppert will talk about the importance of follwing dreams.
  
Rainbow Days has worked for 25 years to give children living in high-risk situations skills they need to overcome adversity and stay drug-free. 

“These children deserve a future that includes college,” said Cathey Brown, founder and executive director of Rainbow Days.  “This day camp is a step to making college a goal for these children to strive for.”


More information: Kids’ University, (214) 887-0726
Media contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Dr. George Fair congratulating a graduate of Kids' University
A Kids’ University graduate gets a handshake from Dr. George Fair, dean of the UT Dallas School of General Studies.

 

UT Dallas’ Homeless Outreach

In addition to Kids’ University, UT Dallas has another initiative to help the homeless.

The UT Dallas Partnership for the Education of Homeless Children provides support to three school districts and four homeless shelters, with the help of Dr. George Fair, the dean of the School of General Studies. 

This partnership ensures access to schools by expediting enrollment, simplifying requirements and providing transportation services.

UT Dallas helps raise sensitivity in schools to the problems that homeless children and youths face.

The partnership locates funding, administers the projects and completes project evaluation reports.  The partnership is funded by state and federal grants and private foundations.

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