Dezirae, 4, and Harmony, 3, play with play-dough in their child care center in Texas. The center was heavily affected by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, sustaining structural and interior damage and loss of critical classroom materials and equipment. In the aftermath of the catastrophic storm, funds, books and toys from Save the Children have helped restore and improve the child care center, and the children’s day-to-day experiences. Save the Children also replaced the center’s restroom and the counters in the kitchen. Photo by Ellery Lamm for Save the Children.
Two Years after Hurricane Harvey, Save the Children Committed to Helping Texas Children Fully Recover
Continued Efforts Focus on Restoring and Improving Early Learning and Education Programs, Helping Children Emotionally Heal
HOUSTON (August 22, 2019)– Two years after Texas was hit by the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the state in 50 years, Save the Children remains committed to supporting children who are still deeply impacted by Hurricane Harvey and recovering from the emotional distress of having their worlds turned upside down.
More than 3 million children were affected by the catastrophic storm, which displaced over 1 million people and damaged hundreds of thousands of homes in a path of destruction that stretched more than 300 miles. Save the Children’s Emergency Response Team deployed to Texas in advance of Hurricane Harvey to meet children and families’ immediate needs, and has been on the ground, based in Houston, since the earliest days of the storm.
Save the Children has been working to ensure the storm’s most vulnerable victims – children – returned to safe learning environments where they can play, learn and develop, and are getting the help they need to cope and build resilience in the wake of the storm.
As a national leader in early childhood education, Save the Children continues to work with Collaborative for Children and local early learning partners in greater Houston, the Coastal Bend and Golden Triangle regions to restore and improve child care and early learning for hundreds of programs that were devastated by the storm. To date, we have supported the recovery of more than 975 child care and early learning programs, and will reach our goal of serving 1,000 this fall.
“Communities cannot begin to recover after disaster until child care and preschools are back up and running,” said Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Save the Children’s senior director for U.S. Emergencies. “That’s why Save the Children has been working with local partners to make sure Texas kids and families have access to safe, quality early education in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The well-being of Texas children – both today and in the future – is dependent on their access to quality early learning programs.”
In collaboration with local mental health providers, Save the Children also continues to partner with schools districts, child care centers, universities, clinics, and community centers to deliver its social and emotional recovery programs, including Journey of Hope and Shelter from the Storm. The programs are helping thousands of Texas children, parents and caregivers understand and cope with the stress, fear, loss and trauma that can come in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. To date, Save the Children has served more than 46,000 children and adults with these essential programs.
“Disasters can steal children’s sense of security, affect their health, behavior and ability to learn, and fracture their relationships for years – so it’s critical that they have the opportunity to process their feelings after traumatic events like Hurricane Harvey,” said Meredith Reid, Save the Children’s Hurricane Harvey recovery team lead. “Save the Children is dedicated to supporting the emotional wellbeing of Texas’ children for the long-term.”
In addition to its response and recovery programs, Save the Children started implementing education programs in Texas in 2018. Beginning in the summer of 2018, Save the Children started offering its award-winning SummerBoost Camp program in greater Houston and the Coastal Bend region to help curb the summer slide and prevent children from losing academic achievement gained in the prior school year. And in the fall of 2018, Save the Children began offering its school-age literacy programs for struggling readers in kindergarten through third grade in an afterschool setting in five Beaumont Independent School District schools, with plans to grow its after-school offerings this school year.
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
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