Attorneys & Kids Together (AKT)
This program, begun in 1999, is the Erie County Bar Association’s signature community project. Its purpose is to support the educational needs of students living in homeless situations.
The program, generously supported by Erie County Bar Association members, has numerous facets:
A short term mentoring-type program with the objective of educating, building trust, offering role models, providing positive life experiences and building self-esteem. An attorney (and his or her family, if interested) is paired with a student from one of several local shelters. They, along with other paired attorneys and students, participate in approximately six organized and well-structured events that take place over a four month period. The program concludes with a trip via coach to a nearby city (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and others) for a fun and educational finale.
Develop quiet, functional areas in local shelters for students to study; include new computers and printers, software, desks, books, etc.
Grants have been obtained from Books for Kids locally and First Books nationally. Each month shelter representatives visit the ECBA office to select two age-appropriate books for each child currently staying at the shelter. Children keep the books.
With the support of JanSport, new backpacks are available to any student in a homeless situation who either does not have one or needs a new one. Backpacks were purchased at a discount with monetary donations from the ECBA membership.
No high school senior should miss the many exciting events of his or her senior year. AKT assists eligible seniors with the following if they cannot afford them: cap & gown, yearbook, prom tickets & attire, announcements, banquet tickets, class ring, etc. AKT will also assist juniors with their SAT fees.
Senior Fund Application
Students finding themselves suddenly in a homeless situation need appropriate clothing for school. Since Erie’s public schools have dress code requirements, the AKT program is a source of new, school-appropriate clothing for students.
New winter coats are available to students (and younger children) who need them.