Supporting Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
Mar 19, 2018
Katie Morales
Supporting Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Katie Morales was born and raised in Reno. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University Nevada Reno in Human Development Family Studies.

Katie has been an advocate for the educational rights of homeless students for the last 10 years.  She oversees the implementation of the federal McKinney-Vento Act and Foster program in Washoe County School District, which identifies and provides resources to over 3,600 students experiencing homelessness and/or Foster care.  She has worked closely with Washoe County and the State to improve the educational outcomes for children and youth in homeless situations.

The Rotary club of Reno has provided a $7,500 community service grant to the Children in Transition (CIT) program put in place to satisfy the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act (non-funded federal mandate). The CIT program includes a variety of support strategies focused on ensuring homeless students are provided with stability, security, and a safe place to learn. The target population is birth through 12th grade and CIT Homeless Liaisons work with schools and families to identify and address students’ basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, transportation and health care. 

Homeless students may or may not have parents, a temporary location is not unusual as homeless students frequently move around the community often changing schools, and a number of students are from the Record Street homeless center. Reno Rotary’s assistance supports the after school tutoring conducted at the Bresson Boys and Girls Club and transportation after the tutoring sessions. Reno Rotary also secured a $2,000 district service grant to provide clothing for students. All elements of the CIT program are intended to normalize and main stream homeless students in ways that will enhance their opportunities for success.