Educational and Enrichment Programming

Yellow Bus Summer Camp

 yb camp

In 2015, Faces without Places will hold its 18th annual summer camp, our flagship program.  The Yellow Bus Summer Camp is an educational and enrichment-based program for local children experiencing homelessness.  Each day, our campers (ages five to twelve) spend their mornings focused on literacy, math, and nutrition lessons delivered by certificated teachers and their afternoons in enrichment, fitness, and other activities.  One day a week is generally reserved for an off-site field trip.  FwP provides transportation and breakfast and lunch to the campers each day, completely free of charge.

The Camp aims to (1) improve campers’ literacy and math skills, (2) improve campers’ health and other well-being measures, and (3) expand enrichment opportunities.  Year after year, our summer camp has consistently shown tremendous results and has proven to be a unique, fun, and rewarding experience for our campers. For example, our testing at the beginning and end of camp demonstrates that 95% of campers retained or increased their literacy and/or math skills last summer.  In addition, metrics developed with a UC professor and expert in childhood homelessness revealed measurable increases in the following well-being measures: (1) health, (2) self-confidence, (3) stability, (4) belonging, and (5) comfort.

Please check back for more details as the summer approaches or contact Shelley at for more information.



ZooMates with Xavier 2013

ZooMates, now in its ninth year, is a mentoring program that matches elementary students with Xavier University students.  The mentors and mentees build relationships through participation in weekly after-school field trips and educational and enrichment activities at the Cincinnati Zoo, their school, and the university.

The objectives of the program are: (1) to improve students’ understanding of the importance of higher education, (2) to enhance their sense of hope, academic empowerment, community connection, and self-esteem, and (3) to create strong relationships with positive role models.

Working with certificated teachers, FwP develops activities to integrate academic material from the classroom into these sessions.  Mentees, with the aid of their mentors, delve into hands-on activities that require higher-level thinking skills to facilitate a greater understanding of academic content in the areas of Zoology, Ecology, and Biology.

Greater interpersonal growth presents itself naturally as the mentoring relationships progress.  The program not only exposes mentees to new experiences and skills, but also provides mentees with positive role models who are able to convey the importance of higher education.  Both the mentee and mentor have consistently reported benefiting from their experiences together.  This symbiotic relationship is the cornerstone on which ZooMates was built.

The 2014-15 ZooMates session began in October 2014 and ran through April 2015.

Please contact Shelley at for more information.


The Birthday Club

A year in anyone’s life deserves to be celebrated.  When you are a child, birthdays are an even bigger milestone, inevitably becoming important memories to cherish and look back on later in life.

Faces without Places offers groups (such as businesses, churches or other organizations) the chance to take birthday parties into homeless shelters.  The volunteers provide food, cake, crafts and games for children living in transition.  A smile is brought to the face of all involved!

Please contact Gretchen at  or (513) 389-0805 to get involved!

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