Since the program began in 2011, The Salvation Army’s Project CATCH (Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless) has assisted 950 homeless children in Wake County. On Tuesday, February 18, Project CATCH, in a joint effort with WakeCountyPublic Schools and Marbles Kid’s Museum, will host an informative workshop where parents experiencing homelessness can learn how to enroll their children into summer camp. Some participating camps, like NC State Engineering and Carolina Elite Football, will be in attendance to educate parents on scholarships and the registration process. The workshop will be held at Marbles Kid’s Museum from 5pm-7pm with fun filled activities for kids and information for parents.
Children are quickly becoming one of the largest homeless populations in the U.S. In WakeCounty alone, there are approximately 2,000 school age children (ranging in ages 5-18 years old) who are homeless. This excludes the number of homeless children not enrolled or who are too young for school. Project CATCH is a The Salvation Army program that partners with nine shelter programs in WakeCounty to offer services (educational, health, and resources) to children experiencing homelessness. Outside of providing services, Project CATCH strives to enrich children's lives outside of shelter life and expose them to as many opportunities to broaden their horizons and stimulate their minds. In an effort to do so, Project CATCH and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) collaborate with Marbles Kid’s Museum to offer workshops four times a year where families are able to learn about issues related to school.
Tuesday’s workshop will focus on providing information on camps offering scholarships to children. This is the first year Project CATCH reached out into the community to find opportunities for children who are homeless to engage in summer camps. “Project CATCH is extremely grateful for the overwhelming positive and generous response from the community,” says Project CATCH Coordinator, Jennifer Tisdale. At the Marbles event, a few select camps will be offering slots to families, including: The Boys and Girls club, The Salvation Army summer camps program, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC State School of Engineering, and Carolina Elite Football camp with NFL football players. Other participating organizations include: Saint Mary’s School, Classy Kids Cook, Carolina Legacy Cheer, Art Buzz Wake Forest, Cary Ballet Conservatory, Lara N Jillz Art Camp. Project CATCH and shelter agency case managers will work with other community camps to fit children with the camps that might best fit their interest. This is an exciting opportunity for many children who have not been able to attend these types of camps. For more information on Project CATCH, visit www.WakeArmy.org