Drive encourages jammies, good readsThis holiday season, Superior students hope to bring others comfort. A pajama and book drive runs at Superior Middle School and Northern Lights Elementary School through Dec. 18.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
This holiday season, Superior students hope to bring others comfort. A pajama and book drive runs at Superior Middle School and Northern Lights Elementary School through Dec. 18.
“There are 125 identified homeless students in our Superior School District alone,” said Jill Prescott, a seventh grade social studies teacher at the middle school. Services are available to provide breakfast, lunch, school supplies and even clothes to these children, but not pajamas.
“Nobody thinks about the little things,” said 13-year-old Mayzie Sickler, one of the middle school students organizing the drive.
Why collect pajamas?
“Snuggling up with a good book in cozy pajamas is a luxury many of us take for granted,” Prescott said. “We would like to fulfill this need and help children feel the warmth of a story and comfort of new pajamas.”
While it is connected with the national Pajama Program organization, everything collected through the drive benefits Twin Ports children and teens. Two years ago, a similar drive provided 300 pairs of pajamas and books to children through the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, Harbor House Crisis Shelters and Safe Haven.
The collection helps children of all ages.
“We could use both PJs and books for older children,” Prescott said. “Many teens like to wear T-shirts and sleep pants.”
As added incentive, middle school Principal Rick Flaherty and assistant principal Ryan Haroldson have promised to dress up as elves on Dec. 21 if more than 250 pairs of pajamas are donated. The students, however, have bigger goals.
“We want to make pajamas fill the library,” said Summer Flahaven, 12, another middle school student organizer.
The pajama and book drive is one of a number of projects that are facilitated through social studies classes in an effort to build community awareness, social understanding and civic responsibility.
This year, middle school students have raised $400 trick or treating for UNICEF and are in the middle of a penny war to raise money for Toys for Tots.
“It feels really good to know that I’m helping people,” Mayzie said.
Many seventh-graders have volunteered to head these community service projects, and some sixth grade students are already asking to help.
“It’s nice to see them enthusiastic,” Prescott said.
Boxes to collect the pajamas and books are available in the lobbies of both schools through Dec. 18. All the items must be new. They are already off to a good start.
“Our students at SMS are amazing! They are generous, giving young people who have a desire to help others,” Prescott said. “Before the official drive began, there was already a stack of pajamas.”
In the end, the student’s efforts may help their friends and neighbors.
“There is a large need at Northern Lights for all sorts of clothing, including pajamas,” said Mary Anderson-Petroske, assistant principal. “Also, many of our students do not have homes full of books and would benefit from having a book of their very own.”
For more information on the Pajama Program, go to pajamaprogram.org.