Oct 252005
Authors: Skylar Rick

If you're interested in donating any new or used clothes, drop off stations located at these locations:

– Gifford Building – Main entrance, south end of the building

– Veterinary Teaching Hospital – Pharmacy Hallway

– Foothills Campus – ATS mail room

– Lory Student Center – Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, room 176

– Natural Environmental Sciences Building (NESB) – main entrance

– Aylesworth – west side of the northwest entrance

Or you can contact Janelle Meldrem at 970-491-1655 or Janell.Meldrem@Colostate.edu

Scarves, blankets and warm coats are all winter necessities to survive the cold Colorado winter, but there are some that lack these necessities right in our own backyard.

Irish Elementary School is one of those with many in need, having close to 90 percent of its students on free or reduced lunch.

"Irish is a school with a large population of its students that live in poverty," said Guillermo Medina, administrative assistant for Irish Elementary.

It is this need that cried out to the Administrative Professional Council (APC), which represents administrative professionals at CSU, to help.

"APC was looking for an opportunity for the administration to be involved in education," said Arlene Nededog , director of the undergraduate program in the College of Natural Sciences. "We host a luncheon each year and survey what the needs of the APC are and one was to be able to do something with an educational focus."

After this need was recognized, the APC met with the Poudre County District to team up and help the school they found with the most need, Irish Elementary.

"Irish is the highest need and because of that, they need more outside help," Nededog said. "Other schools have more parent involvement because they might have more time."

With winter so close, the biggest need for the school is to have children clothed warmly, which is why the APC's have decided to put on their clothing drive for the second year in a row.

"It's important to us to help the local community and try to make things better for others." said Janell Meldrem , APC Service and Outreach Committee. "It also gets people involved and [helps us] learn more about the needs of the town."

This year, the organization will collect clothing such as coats, hats, gloves, boots, socks and blankets in sizes for kindergarten through sixth-grade children.

The clothing will then be distributed through a "clothing fair" during the parent-teacher conferences at the elementary.

"It's our policy to just put them out and families take what they need," Medina said. "We feel they will end up with someone who needs it."

The clothing drive runs through Friday, and students are encouraged to donate anything they can, even if they can't afford to buy new clothes.

"Students can make donations with any items they don't use as winter clothing anymore," Nededog said. "The target is elementary school age, but some kids are larger and can fit into adult clothing."

Along with the tradition the clothing drive recently started, APC has also formed an agreement with the school district to participate in many different projects with Irish elementary.

"CSU is like a big sister to Irish Elementary," Nededog said. "We're always working with the school's needs."

The APC has helped in other ways than the clothing drive, by organizing drives to help the students attend Eco-week, an event every sixth grader in the county participates in.

"Eco-week is where the schools send the sixth graders to Pinegree Park and they learn about the environment, and many schools go and stay overnight," Medina said. "We wanted to do this, so [APC] did a drive for us for the different things students would need to use that would prevent them from going."

The next project Irish will see will include people from CSU speaking about different career opportunities in relation to what the students are learning.

"[The people from CSU] will talk about careers and expose the kids to college," Nededog said. "It's important for kids in elementary schools to get exposed to college early."

It's this attitude that leaves those who work for Irish Elementary in awe.

"The kind of support from CSU has really made our school better and has helped our students reach their potential," Medina said. "This is not only with helping with their needs, but also their education and were really thankful for what they have done – CSU has been just wonderful to us."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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