$1.34 million to help some WA students falling behind in school

There are many reasons that students are falling behind this year and there's one group called Treehouse, that's working to make sure students in the foster care system in Washington, get caught up.

Treehouse just identified both failures and successes of its students, this school year.

The good news, almost three quarters do have the technology needed for remote learning and 9 out of 10 also have stable housing.

But there are also many shortfalls:

44% of the students they're working with, need tutoring or other homework help during right now.

36% of the caregivers for these children, do not have the resources to do it.

“We would love for our young people to be back in in person classrooms we think it’s critical for their academic needs critical for their social emotional needs,” said Dawn Rains, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer at Treehouse.

Their survey shows 31% of the foster care students in our state, have a moderate or high need for mental health support.

No doubt, many kids, not just those in foster care could use help, so what should we do?

“There is no one magic wand the parents can use or that caregivers can use, because it’s not as simple as turn on the zoom, get your lesson, pour the knowledge into your head and regurgitate it. It’s never been that easy and it’s even more so now,” said Dr. Chin.

She knows it’s very hard for the parent or caregiver to suddenly be the lunch lady, the teacher, the counselor, the coach, the principal and more.

“Treehouse partners with people who are really high-quality, professional at tutoring and the resources are available. We can make sure that our youth continue to get the best quality services, as any parent would want for their children,” she said.

Seeing just how great the need is, Treehouse went after grant money and was just awarded $1.34 million from the federal CARES Act to help.

This money will go directly to foster kids and programs to pay for tutoring or other materials they need.

“In addition, we can pay for anything that removes a barrier or helps a school engagement so we anticipate some Summer learning programs and we can pay for students to participate in those. We can pay for summer camp and extracurricular activities that really bond young people to school,” said Rains.

The money Treehouse received can go to any young person in the foster care system, from kindergarten all the way through post-secondary schools.

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