Learning Environments Research

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 403–417 | Cite as

Results of innovative and supportive learning programs for homeless children and adults

Original Paper


Four-week summer academy programs served homeless children and adults in two contiguous innovative learning programs. The programs may be the first of their kind in the homeless literature in which both adults and children were exposed to career, academic, and leadership opportunities in the supportive learning environment of a university campus, and where academy children’s academic and self-perception results were compared with matched controls. Children experienced literacy instruction, a mathematics board game, robotics, leadership training, tennis instruction on court facilities, and computer, biology, and chemistry at respective laboratory sites. Adults participated in writing workshop, computer, health and self-care, urban economic, counseling, career, and yoga sessions. Academy children did not experience gains in norm-referenced vocabulary, spelling, or behavioural tests, but did demonstrate highly significant gains in writing ability based on state rubric criteria when compared with controls. In addition, they significantly increased in vocabulary understanding based on eight books read and in tennis skills. Adults significantly increased in keyboarding fluency based on their computer training.


Closing summer achievement gaps Homeless children and adults’ programs Innovative learning environments Reading–writing connection Studying academic gains Vocabulary acquisition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of EducationSt. John’s UniversityNew YorkUSA

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