Coming from some of the toughest and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods in NYC, my students do not often have the financial freedom when it comes to purchasing items for the new school year whether they are essential or not. On a regular basis, our students hear that they cannot overcome where they live, and that this is just the life they will have to get used to. A high percentage of our student population reside in foster homes, homeless shelters or numerous family members' homes and do not have regular access to purchasing extra non-essential things such as belts. These are often products within our lives that we take for granted, and with a lack of financial freedom these are the last things you think about. Rather than letting a divide happen in our school between those who have access to things such as belts and those who do not, we want to create a resource for our students where they can get these items. With these items, Lillian's Locker will provide these items to our students on a needs oriented basis! Together we can improve lives through Lillian's Locker!
At our school, we have strived to create and get our student orientated pantry named Lillian's Locker off the ground running. Lillian's Locker is a school-based pantry for our students who do not have access to personal care items and clothing, who lack the financial freedom to make these purchases. Over time, our students have been lucky enough to gain access to personal care items such as deodorants, body wash, soap and many different types of clothing with Lillian's Locker through support through DonorsChoose.org. One of the things, when handing out these items that my students have requested is belts to help them keep their pants on their hips. They often tell us that with limited money one of the things they cannot ever buy is a belt. In these candid conversations with my students, they are indirectly requesting that Lillian's Locker get belts. It is our job as educators to help our students, and with your help we can create a new section within Lillian's Locker, that will address this need. Together we can put a smile on our students' faces when they are given the materials they need the most! While it is important as educators to create a rigorous academic environment, true growth happens when students feel comfortable and confident in themselves before true academic growth can happen!
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