Homeless in Harford County

​January and February 2008

Edgewood High School (EHS) Business Department, Harford County, Layne Restrick

The Edgewood High School Business Department partnered with two Harford County non-profit organizations (Harford Family House and Harford Habitat for Humanity) to make students aware of the homeless situation in Harford County. Our theme was “Homelessness in Harford County” and our goal was to make students not only aware of the homeless situation in Harford County, but also to become a part of the solution.

The grand finale of the project was the breakfast where Mrs. Sconion’s homeroom was honored and Harford Family House and Harford Habitat for Humanity received the donations of about $1,500 and many non-perishable items.

Best Practice 1: What recognized community need was met by your project (e.g. health, education, environmental or public safety need)?

Our kick-off activity assembly included two presenters, Jonita Shoaff from Harford Family House and Joann Blewett from Harford Habitat for Humanity, who presented statistics and information that helped students visualize homelessness in Harford County. Our presenters were people involved in trying to meet the needs of those who are homeless in Harford County.

The non-perishable items and $1500 collected and donated to the agencies helped the families who will use the services of Harford Family House and Harford Habitat for Humanity.

Best Practice 2: How was the project connected to school curriculum (e.g. what course outcomes were met and/or how did the project reinforce or enhance student academic learning)?

The students from each of the business classes participated in this project which ultimately included all of the population of Edgewood High School and the community. Joann Blewett donated banks to place in each homeroom for donations. Mrs. Sconion’s homeroom was the recipient of a breakfast donated by Chick-Fil-A because they collected the largest amount of money. The Applications of Computer classes made note cards for Harford Family House. The Principles of Management class created a DVD called “Reach Out and Touch.” The Financial Management classes created public service announcements concerning the homeless situation in Harford County. The Accounting I and II classes collect the money and donations each week and kept accurate records of the amounts each class donated. The Future Business Leaders of America Club donated money for a picnic table for a recipient of a house being built by Harford Habitat for Humanity.

Best Practice 3: How did you reflect on your experience throughout the project?

Throughout the project, announcements were made each Friday telling the school what homeroom was leading in donations for people who are homeless. At the end of the project, the homeroom raising the largest amount of money was part of the breakfast celebration and donation presentation to the agencies.

Best Practice 4: How did students take leadership roles and take responsibility for the success of the project? 

Students within each business class were given the opportunity to be a part of this informative project. See Best Practice 2 for the specific roles for which each class took ownership.

Best Practice 5: What community partners did you work with on this project (e.g. non-profits, civic organizations, business that provided donations, etc.)?

Harford Family House and Harford Habitat for Humanity were partners for this project.

Best Practice 6: How did you prepare and plan ahead for the project?

The entire business department of Edgewood High School, under the leadership of teachers Claudia Sconion, Carolyn Kustanbauter, William Hunter, and Wanda Lewis, the department chairperson, worked as a team so this service-learning project could be a benefit to the school and local community.

Business teachers were provided a day of in-service training to begin planning and we also met with the two non-profit organizations and discussed the project.

Best Practice 7: What knowledge and skills did students develop through this project?

Students and faculty at EHS became aware of the need to give assistance to our homeless population in Harford County. Students also applied concepts they were learning in business classes to help organize and implement the project (see Best Practice 2 for details).