Studies show that nearly 50% of children in foster care fail to graduate from high school. With all of the trauma and uncertainty these children have faced, it is no surprise that there is little incentive for them to focus on their education. Without a high school degree, there is little hope that they will become self-sustaining adults. Inspired by this realization, Project Sheltering Tree was born. Project Sheltering Tree provides academic advocacy for foster children in the Sibling House Network. Tutoring for grades K through 12 is offered to children that are struggling to reach grade level standards in all subjects. Tutors work in partnership with homeroom and special education teachers and foster parents to advocate for the needs of the child to compliment the programs already in place. In addition to support for the children, Project Sheltering Tree provides advocacy for care givers in the form of guidance, support, and mentoring. PST works on educating foster parents on specialized needs in the confusing world of Individualized Education Plans, 504 Plans, and modified expectations for the child. Project Sheltering Tree started in 2006 on a trial basis with one child receiving tutoring twice a month. This student was below grade level at the beginning of the school year. Through tutoring and teacher accommodations, he was brought up to grade level by the end of the school year. Since then we have been able to supply tutoring services to more than 12 foster children in our network and countless others have recieved school supplies and books. Additionally, we have started a collection of curriculum with resources primarily geared towards reading, writing and math. We will continue to build our collection to support grades K-12 with appropriate material to assist tutors, students, and care givers in making the gains necessary to bridge the academic gaps and ultimately graduate from high school. This is just the beginning of what Project Sheltering Tree envisions for foster children and their futures. As funding increases, we are able to advocate for more children in need. The exponential growth is within our reach. You can help make a difference in the future of foster children with a donation to Project Sheltering Tree. If you would like to make a donation to Project Sheltering Tree, please click on the Donate Now link and type PST in the questions/comments section.
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