SC4K will provide uniforms, supplies to students at 5 schools
CMSD NEWS BUREAU
Shoes and Clothes for Kids will provide clothing and supplies to entire classrooms in five K-8 schools in an attempt to improve attendance and reading scores.
With help from the school-wear company French Toast, SC4K will furnish uniforms and other clothing and school supplies for all students in kindergarten through third grade at the five schools, as well as supplies that teachers often buy for the children.
The nonprofit will replenish the goods monthly during the pilot program, which will run for three years. After the three years, the pilot's impact will be evaluated. One measure will be how students fare in meeting Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
“We’re going to try giving them continuous attention,” said Terry Uhl, executive director of Shoes and Clothes for Kids. “If it’s successful, we will work with the community to see how to best implement a larger program to get the same results.”
The Eaton Corp., Dominion Energy Foundation and Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation are supporting the initiative.
SC4K came up with the project after conducting focus groups with teachers. Uhl said that the teachers like the nonprofit’s services but asked for continuing assistance.
Leaders of CMSD’s ongoing “Get 2 School. You Can Make It!” attendance campaign say the lack of clean and proper clothing is among the challenges that many students face in achieving good attendance. Campaign data shows that kids' attendance improves after they receive uniforms.
"It removes a barrier for them," said Lorri Hobson, director of attendance. "We know it has been effective and are eager to see how this new commitment works."
Students’ families also may be hard-pressed to provide them with supplies, and teachers have to fill the void.
Shoes and Clothes for Kids is celebrating 50 years of helping children and families in need. Each year, SC4K provides school uniforms, other clothing and shoes to about 10,000 students.
This year, SC4K will distribute new uniforms, other clothing and shoe vouchers with a retail value of $2.4 million. Nearly 3,000 teachers will receive free supplies, worth more than $2 million, from the nonprofit’s Cleveland Kids in Need Resource Center.
To learn more about Shoes and Clothes for Kids, go to sc4k.org.