2012 – 2013 Pajama Project
What are the appropriate grade levels:
K to 5
Is there a limit to the number of participants:
No – if there is a high level of interest in this project, the welcome kits could be divided up in segments vs. one class doing the whole kit. Or the students could think of additional things that could be done for the shelter that would help children fee
Is there an opportunity for community service:
Yes – two to four hours.
Is this a new or existing project:
This is an existing project.
Estimated project cost:
Shared by students during The Advocates’ presentations at local elementary schools:
“My dad pushed my mom into the hutch and there was glass everywhere.” ~ 9 year old boy
“I just hide under my bed when my parents fight.” ~ 6 year old girl
Unfortunately, due to these types of statements by local children we know that domestic violence is taking place in the homes of local families and children are being affected. On average, when The Advocates’ presents locally at the grade school level 25% of the students share stories of family violence. In addition, The Advocates shelters approximately 50 children a year and provides support services to another 75 children.
To increase awareness of services for children living with family violence and to support children who need to come to shelter, The Advocates’ proposes the Pajama Project. The project educates elementary school children about domestic violence, what it is like to live in shelter, builds empathy for kids in shelter, and gives local children the opportunity to do something that will directly impact kids in shelter. The students engaged in the project will help kids in shelter feel happier and safer. Students who choose the Pajama Project will pay for shelter for children and create ‘”Welcome Kits” for them. Fully funded the project will pay for 50 nights of shelter and 25 “Welcome Kits”. It costs about per night per child for shelter which includes three meals and snacks, safe and comfortable housing, 24 hour security and staffing, and access to a wide variety of support services including emotional support. Children come to shelter with their mothers and can bring their pets if they have any.
The community service aspect of this program would be to create the welcome kits. There are a couple of options related to the kits. The students could decide what they think should be in a welcome kit. Ideas include a pair of comfortable pajamas, a pillow case decorated by students, hand made welcome cards, and other donated items on hand in the shelter such as new toothbrushes, art supplies toothpaste, books, and stuffed animals. The students would have a budget of per kit. Making the kits would help the students empathize with kids who have to leave their homes for a shelter. The students could have fun deciding what should be in the welcome kits based on what they think would make kids in shelter feel more comfortable.
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Classrooms who have adopted this project
Debbie Van Law