In late September, North Dayton School of Discovery (NDSD) hosted an event where 230 students received a brand-new pair of socks and shoes. Shoes 4 the Shoeless (S4TS), Communities In Schools of Ohio (CIS of Ohio), and NDSD partnered to fill this huge student need.
This is the first time in several years that the non-profit Shoes 4 the Shoeless has come to NDSD to make sure their scholars have shoes that fit correctly and that no student must face the unnecessary physical and emotional distress that results from wearing socks/shoes that are inadequate.
Principal Victoria Simmons, CIS of Ohio Site Coordinator William Crabtree, and the school leadership team at the K-8 school are very aware of the basic needs that students and families face. They work diligently in aiding and providing all supports needed.
Crabtree worked closely with S4TS and school leadership to coordinate and plan the event. School staff and teachers contacted parents and identified students who were in need. The event took place on the school’s outdoor basketball court where more than 40 volunteers from Wright State University’s nursing program, equipped with sizing charts, a kind smile, and a seemingly endless supply of socks and shoes, began the task of making every student feel comfortable, safe, and happy to receive a brand-new pair of socks and shoes.
“I want to thank Kris Horlacher, executive director of S4TS. Her efforts and knowledge made this event more successful than I could have imagined,” said Crabtree. “We had a K-2 scholar who had holes in her current shoes, she showed me while she was waiting in line. The sole was falling off, they were dirty and far too small. The first thing she asked Kris, who was working with her, was if her sister, also a K-2 scholar, was getting a pair of shoes too. Kris assured her that she would. Then the girl rejected putting on the new socks, saying that she was going to save them for her sister. At this point, with tears in our eyes, Kris knew exactly what to do. We immediately got her sister to come get her new socks and shoes, so they could do it together. The joy on these sisters’ faces while they were running, skipping, jumping, and their feet didn’t hurt, was pure joy. It’s rare to observe that degree of happiness.”
“S4TS went above and beyond for our students in several ways during this event,” said Crabtree. “For students who needed special sizes or widths, S4TS made sure to order them and have them delivered to the school. S4TS staff also helped in securing several donations for the NDSD soccer team, including cleats, shin guards, socks, water bottles, and even soccer camps with Dayton area high school and college teams.”
Communities In Schools of Ohio, founded in 1993, has been helping schools, including several National Heritage Academies schools, to assess and meet youth needs. The organization partners with multiple agencies and positions site coordinators in schools to provide resources that help students succeed in the classroom and in life.
Shoes 4 the Shoeless, Inc. is a local non-profit that provides new, correctly fitting gym shoes and socks to Dayton area children in desperate need. Through a uniquely efficient and effective system, they help children eliminate one of poverty’s most visible stigmas.
With the success of this year’s event, everyone involved hopes to repeat it next school year!