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Almira K-3 students receive new uniforms (Video)



Students at Almira School have received a gift that will keep on giving throughout the school year -- new uniforms and school supplies.   

Third-grader Khalis said it almost felt like Christmas Day.      

“It is good that I have new clothes so when go to school I feel comfortable,” he said items were passed out Monday at his school. “I got two polo shirts, socks and underwear and some other stuff and a sweater.”  

Almira is one of five schools participating in a new pilot program started by the non-profit Shoes and Clothes for Kids with school-wear company French Toast. The other schools are Alfred A. Benesch, Whitney M. Young, Marion-Sterling and Memorial.

The lack of clean and appropriate clothing can be a barrier to school attendance.  Principal Jim Greene says chronic absenteeism can have long-term effects on a child’s education.   

"Whenever a child doesn’t come to school, that means they are falling behind,” said Greene.  “And what happens is after [students] miss nine or 10-plus days, that could actually cause a reduction in  test scores. We want to make sure that no matter where our scholars are at throughout the year, we want to set them up for success.“ 

During the three-year pilot program CMSD will be tracking social and emotional learning, how students fare in meeting Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee and attendance.  If the pilot is successful, SC4K will try to expand it,  Executive Director Terry Uhl said. 

Uhl said giving children the necessary tools for learning will also help teachers concentrate on curriculum and not on trying to find clothing for students.  

“The idea was how can we find close to 1,000 kids and provide them everything during the year -- school clothing, school supplies, winter clothing, books  -- all nine months and see if it would improve attendance,” he said.  

Rich Sutton, CEO of LT Apparel Group, which owns French Toast, said seeing the students with their new clothes is nice, but the long-term impact these shirts and pants will have on their lives is why he didn’t hesitate to help.   

“They think this is really cool, fun and great because they are getting neat stuff that they need for school,” he said.  “But what we really know is we are really going to do is  change their futures. And if we do our part to have them have better class attendance and having better class attendance leads to better grades, that is the massive win we are going for.”   

Students like Khalis are excited to come to school in their new threads.   

"Coming to school with my clothes will be great because I will get my work done fast and I will be smart,” Khalis said.  

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