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MEMORIAL PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBUTS STUDENT PROJECT IN ACPL GREAT HALL

A group of seventh graders from Memorial Park Middle School installed an art display at the Allen County Public Library’s Main Library Great Hall on March 27.


The display called “Tunnel of Despair” is a 12-foot-long tunnel that includes art and stories created by students who are experiencing homelessness in Fort Wayne. The students’ teacher, Sia Faulk, proposed the project to ACPL leaders who quickly jumped at the opportunity to display the art installation.


On, February 16, a group of Memorial Park students presented to ACPL staff and shared that approximately 990 FWCS students experience homelessness, including 70 from Memorial Park. Homelessness at FWCS is defined as “children who lack fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence” which encompasses families that “double up” with other families or live in motels, emergency or transitional shelters, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus stations, or other public or private places not designed for humans to live. It also represents migratory children, unaccompanied youth, and/or children awaiting foster care placement.


“We were impressed that the seventh graders cared so much about their fellow students who were experiencing homelessness that they approached the library about the project,” said ACPL Assistant Youth Services Manager-Teens Focus Aisha Hallman. “Some members of the community might not see the effects of homelessness on a daily basis, but these students see them in their classmates, and being able to share those children’s stories with the thousands of people who visit the library is a community responsibility.” 


“These kids are here. They come to our branches and participate in our programs, but often we do not even realize they lack a stable place to call home,” said ACPL Executive Director Susan Baier. “This project, and the incredible students at Memorial Park who brought it to our Library, are real-life examples of how we can meaningfully serve everyone in our community.”


The display will be open to the public during normal library hours through April 16.  For more information, reach out to Aisha Hallman at ahallman@acpl.lib.in.us.

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