MORRIS – District 54 staff and students want to provide warm clothing for local children in need – and are hoping others in the community join in on their endeavor.
As part of the Clothesline Across Campus event, clotheslines were hung earlier this month across the lawns at White Oak Elementary and Shabbona Middle schools, and students, staff and friends donated gently worn jeans, sweatshirts, hats, coats, gloves and boots.
Those are in turn donated, free of charge, to families in need in the district.
The donated items will be available during parent-teacher conferences in November, when parents will be invited to visit the gym after their conference and take items their children may need.
“The kids love it,” Superintendent Teri Shaw said. “We are big proponents of community service. This is another way to demonstrate to them community service in action.”
District Principal Christopher Maier started the project in 2011 when he started as principal at White Oak, Shaw said.
This is the first year the event also was at the middle school.
Shaw estimates at least 100 garbage bags were filled with clothing from this year’s event.
All students in the district – Shaw said there’s about 900 at White Oak and 400 at Shabbona Middle – can receive items that were donated.
This year, the event was at the school Oct. 11 and 12. Teachers brought their classes outside and allowed the children to add their items to the clothesline. District staff members have noted that by physically hanging their own clothing on the lines, the students feel more involved.
The event teaches students to think about the needs of others and shows them that no matter their age, they have the capability to make a difference, according to a news release from the district.
The district is opening the event to the community, and inviting anyone who would like to donate gently worn clothing to bring them to the school before Oct. 30.