The Inside Out Club (formerly I Support Community Charity Club) program taught students at Elmwood Elementary and The Primrose School at Naperville Crossings about DuPagePads, their overnight shelter program and how they are working to end homelessness in DuPage County.

One student in the Kindergarten through second grade group at Elmwood expressed how surprised she was that people had to sleep at a different place each night.

IOC Kids Learn About Homelessness Pads at Site

We took the students through a backpack exercise that helped them understand what it would be like if all of their possessions had to fit into a backpack. We asked them to imagine not having a home, only having the items that could fit into a backpack and going to school without knowing where they’d be sleeping that night.

The third through fifth graders were very contentious and thought about what it’d be like to be in a child’s shoes coming to a shelter for a night. They mentioned wanting to bring items such as extra socks, sweat shirts and books.

Next we asked the students to color placemats for the overnight shelter sites, so that each person at the shelter could have something to brighten his or her night.  The students created beautiful and thoughtful placemats like this one.IOC Kids Learn About Homelessness Placemats Donated

Through the coloring project students were able to help someone in their community who is homeless and demonstrate compassion and empathy.

We delivered the placemats to the First Congregational Church in Naperville that hosts a DuPagePads shelter site. They were very appreciative of the students’ gift and we’re sure that they brought smiles to many faces.

IOC Kids Learn About Homelessness Placemats on the table

To learn more about the Inside Out Club click HERE.