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Grant expands help for child homelessness

Posted: 3:02 PM, Sep 10, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-10 15:02:31-04

COVINGTON, Ky. -- UpSpring is spreading its summer programming to Northern Kentucky thanks to a grant from Cummins, Inc.

The organization -- a local nonprofit offering educational programming to kids experiencing homelessness -- announced Thursday it will launch its Summer 360° program in Northern Kentucky next year.

Organizers said the grant will be allocated to UpSpring over a three-year period. The goal is to allow UpSpring the time and resources to build a sustainable model for their supper program.

Meanwhile, the group will host its 19th annual Summer 360° program across the river in Cincinnati next year as well.

The group said that in 2014, its data showed that 95 percent of its campers increased or retained their math and/or reading skills. The students also showed improvements in “health, self-confidence, stability, hope, comfort, and belonging.”

UpSpring said it already serves many children who experience homelessness in Northern Kentucky.

“This partnership will enable us, as the only local nonprofit exclusively serving the educational needs of children experiencing homelessness, to expand upon our Mission. Without generous companies like Cummins, our work would be even more difficult than it already is, and we are so grateful for this new partnership,” UpSpring’s Executive Director Mike Moroski said via a release.

The NKY seven week-long program will be housed in a school in the Kenton County School District.

Kelly Blevins, Court Liaison & Homeless Education Coordinator for the Kenton Co. School District, said, “The Kenton County School District is fortunate to participate in this program that provides positive outreach for our students. We are grateful to Cummins for their investment in our children and look forward to an enriching collaboration with UpSpring.”

According to UpSpring, students who experience homelessness are on average two to three years behind in school. Their summer learning loss is two to three months greater than their peers.

The group aims to empower those students by giving them structure during summer. UpSpring and its partners provide two hot meals per day and send home with them on Fridays too.

More information on UpSpring is available at: www.upspring.org .