JCPS teachers learn how to tackle tough learning situations

Westport Middle, Volunteers of America team up to tackle hard topics
Farrah Ferriell (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)
Farrah Ferriell (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)
Jodie Zeller (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)
Jodie Zeller (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)
Volunteers of America works with the homeless children living in their shelters to make sure they are caught up in the classroom. (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)
Volunteers of America works with the homeless children living in their shelters to make sure they are caught up in the classroom. (Photo source: Kaitlin Rust, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Last year, the Jefferson County Public Schools said there are 5,800 homeless children in the school system. How does a teacher tackle that kind of adversity in a child's life? A group of teachers is learning to do just that.

Westport Middle School teachers teamed up with Volunteers of America to figure out how to get students engaged when it comes to hard topics in and out of the classroom.

VOA works with homeless children in their shelters to make sure they can get caught up in school. They're sharing what they learn with teachers so there can be a better learning environment in the classroom.

Tackling seven different challenges with project-based learning, these teams of teachers are also showing VOA what they can do outside of the classroom to help homeless students.

"The children that live here in our family homeless shelter face a lot of challenges every day," said Farrah Ferriell, VOA Senior Director of Development. "Not only are they worrying if they're going to get their homework done every night, they're also worrying about if they're going to get a meal."

"This is a real first-hand, real-world experience to see what we are trying to get our teachers to incorporate into our classrooms by engaging kids in things that are purposeful and have an impact and really provide that foundation for learning and take that learning to the next level," said Jodie Zeller, the Westport Middle principal.

They're covering all the tough topics, from how homelessness can affect learning to teaching middle schoolers about STD's.

Trying to get everyone to think outside the box just in time for the new school year.

VOA is also hosting a back to school drive. Click HERE to see how you can help.

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