ENG 102 students support CCSD’s Title I Hope Program Creating care packages to support the homeless, students will be ending of the quarter on a nostalgic note

Playing the “Home Sweet Homelessness” board game, senior Regan Thomas moves her piece up four steps. This board game revealed the many issues challenging obstacles like losing money. “After we played this game, it really hit me on how difficult it actually is for the homeless and the countless issues they face like not even being able to put an address when issuing an ID,” Thomas said. Photo Credit: Gurleen Swaich
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With over 10,000 students homeless in CCSD,  ENG 102 teacher Henry Castillo is assigning students to create intricately designed care packages geared towards children under 18 as a proactive approach to help as they cover their curriculum.

The Care Package is a project that intersects concepts we’ve covered throughout the semester with the opportunity to help a vulnerable sector of our local community: Homeless youth in Clark County,” Castillo said. “Students are specifically tasked with the challenge of creating a ‘package’ that addresses the physical and socioemotional needs of homeless youth. The physical components include basic necessities (toothbrushes, clothing, etc.). The socioemotional needs will be met via two writing components: An age-appropriate poem (that goes through the brainstorming, editing, and peer criticism phases) and a personal letter to the child.”

Students will be in groups of four to five and can choose any theme ranging from Disney, to Marvel, to specifically decorate their box. The care package is due on Apr 28. 

“I love seeing student creativity come to life,” Castillo said. “Many students have also been impacted by homelessness, either directly or indirectly. Seeing the compassion students exhibit in their literary work and for their community is inspirational.”

Once students have completed their care packages, they will be picked up by the CCSD Title I Hope Program on Apr 29. 

“I am excited to start the care package because it’s a change of pace than all of the writing and stuff we have been doing currently,” senior Kylie Chavez said. “I kind of have an idea of what I want to do because I want to make it Marvel-themed and paint a bunch of superheroes around the box so that the kids like it.”

Many students feel nostalgic recreating care packages that they made during Freshman Studies, which incorporated similar components. 

“I remember doing this project in Freshman Studies and now it’s reminiscent of the time gone by,” senior Ruth Shiferaw said. “Starting this project again has been humbling and made me more aware of the homelessness issue that is increasing. I want to make our care package very memorable and I’m excited to get started and have the kids receive what we make and send them.”