MERIDIAN - Four Meridian Middle School staff members decided they had to do something to make sure kids at the school are adequately clothed. So they volunteered to revamp the school's in-house clothing store, and make it unique, one-stop shop for kids in need.
The store, called Chief Closet, features new and gently-used clothing.
"Many of us were going out on the weekends and buying pants and clothes for our students out of our own pockets," said teacher Annmarie Callahan. "You know, middle school is hard and not having clean, fresh clothes makes it even harder."
Chief Closet, an in-school option for students to get clothing, has been around for several years. But it wasn't exactly inviting.
"When you started to hear your students say, 'I don't want to get clothes from a bag on the floor,' we thought OK, something is not right here," said Annmarie. "So we kind of birthed this idea of closing it down, revamping it, painting, remodeling, getting shelves and turning it into a store."
Now thanks to the volunteers, there are racks and racks of donated clothing, shoes, coats - Whatever a middle school kid needs.
"Our goal is every student will have clothes and feel prepared and ready and fresh for school everyday," said Annmarie.
"And be proud of their appearance," added staff member Linda Beese. "They have to be proud about themselves. We wanted them to have the feel of a store, a clothing store that they can go in, and they weren't embarrassed by it."
Now, it's a special opportunity for the kids to come in here and go "shopping."
"When we are out on lunch duty or we are out in the halls we notice how kids clothes look the same from day to day, or it looks kinda rugged," said school counselor Cari Barnes.
"We often just bring them in and ask how things are going, 'can we help you?'" added Cari. "Or our teachers are great at saying 'this kiddo may need some attention.'"
This has been a team effort at Meridian Middle School with donations coming from students, teachers and faculty members. Local companies have chipped in too.
If you would like to help, the school is always accepting donations of gently used clothes, shoes and coats.
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