Learning centers are spaces within homeless housing/service facilities that are dedicated to the education and enrichment of children. They serve as a space where kids can do their homework, play, read, and use the computer. They also are the site of HCEF’s Afterschool and Summer Program and are often the site for HCEF’s Enrichment Program. Having a kid-friendly space to hold these programs in the facility where the children are residing or receiving services means high participation and a sense of ownership in the programs.
Since its inception in 1999, HCEF has established thirteen learning centers in partnering homeless housing/service facilities. Depending on each agency’s needs, HCEF can provide logistical support, décor, technology, furniture, books, learning tools, educational toys and games, and volunteers. All agencies, whether they house an HCEF-sponsored learning center or not, can also choose to maintain and update their space using HCEF’s annual Mini-Grant funds for fun items such as Wii gaming systems, video cameras, art supplies, and physical fitness equipment.
HCEF provides regular tech support and upgrades to all Learning Centers with computers and, in some cases, supplies other educational technology like iPads and STEM learning tools.