Myra Berkowitz

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Teacher - Title

Coordinator - Title

Coordinator of the District's Title I HOPE Program

Sunrise Acres Elementary School

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Nevada Public Radio -- News 88.9 KNPR

Myra Berkovits, Coordinator, Title I HOPE

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May 31, 2001: Upfront

Myra Berkovits , a teacher on special assignment for the Title I Homeless Education Program , told school board trustees earlier this month that homeless students often couch serf from home to home to mask identifiers--living in a shelter , having multiple addresses in a year and wearing the same clothes.Berkovits said the problem is worse among image-conscious high schoolers , only 64 of whom were identified as homeless last year compared with 1 , 184 elementary pupils and 353 middle school pupils.Once the students are identified , the focus switches to facilitating school enrollment and accessing support programs such as Operation School Bell , which gives students school supplies and clothing.Available through the federal Title I program are free breakfast and lunch through the eighth grade , parenting classes and transportation to appointments.

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That's why Myra Berkovits, coordinator of the district's Title I HOPE program, is visiting schools, alerting teachers and asking for their help.HOPE stands for Homeless Outreach Program for Education.She started last week at Sunrise Acres Elementary School, in the heart of the district's east region, which has one of the highest percentages of homeless students.Many of the district's homeless students weren't homeless when the school year started in August.That's why teachers need to watch for changes in their students, Berkovits tells them."You are the first people who are going to notice," she tells staff gathered in the library before class.

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