The Relisha Rudd story has cast a light on the heartbreaking state of homeless children in DC. Payne Elementary, Relisha’s school (and my own inboundary school) homeless students. How can we, as a community help? A group of tween civic hackers want to start by finding where homeless students go to school.
A team of students from(DCPS) and (PCS) were invited to share their DC Food Deserts project at the . While preparing for the Tech Embassy, they decided they wanted to address current issues in DC schools. Saddened by Relisha Rudd’s disappearance, they were surprised learn how many students in Relisha’s school are homeless. Wondering whether there were homeless students in all DC schools, they reached out to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to request data about number of DC students enrolled in schools.
OSSE shared the data (along with encouraging words e from State Superintendent himself, Jesus Aguirre, saying, “Thanks for focusing on such an important issue. We can’t wait to see what you build!”), and the students were able to create a map that shows homeless student enrollment by school (for DCPS and PCS).
How’d They Learn to Map?
Technology and Open Data are for Everyone
“The Tech Embassy, a pop-up free space for locals to explore and play with tech innovations made by DC residents for DC residents” created a space (hosted by Affinity Lab) for participants to engage with local projects by Code for DC, DC Public Libraries, Open Technology Institute and others. The event demonstrated that data and technology can be available and useful to all of us. Whether and how we choose to participate is up to us.
**Full Disclosure – my son is among the “Mini Hacker Civics”