The ILMC is a grade 3-5 elementary school where students are at least two grade levels behind in literacy and math. The school is located on 15th Street, an area that has been determined to be a food desert with a high poverty rate.
“Because our teacher candidates are embedded in the school, they get to know the students, their families, the teachers and other school administrators firsthand,” said Dr. Judi Wilson, dean of the College of Education.
Principal Stacey King identified a few ongoing and overwhelming needs for their school community.
The first opportunity to give is through their clothing drive. While new or clean, gently used clothing is easier to manage, the school is willing to accept all clothes in good condition. They have two washers and dryers to make sure the clothes are clean before being distributed to students.
“We knew about the need for clothes because our faculty and students noticed that need as they served in the schools,” Wilson said. “Students can’t learn when they are worried about things like shoes that fit or clothes to keep them warm in the winter. Those are basic needs that must be met before any learning can occur.”
Clothing donations can be dropped off at any time while school is open. Coats, jackets and other winter clothing are in high demand this season.
Since few students have books of their own, books of all elementary reading levels would be appreciated for students to take home.
“Reading is the only activity consistently linked to summer learning,” said Dr. Kim Barker, assistant professor for the College of Education. “Researchers have found that in lower-income communities, there is one book per 300 children, while in upper-middle-income communities, there are 13 books per child. It’s difficult to imagine that there are children in our community who do not personally own a single book. Books for kids are a great investment in our community.
“The books don’t need to be brand-new. They just need to be interesting and age-appropriate, including fiction and nonfiction,” Barker added.
Principal King also mentioned that the ILMC has set an angel tree available for donations. If anyone would like to provide gifts for the holidays for a specific child or children, they can contact Dr. Stacy Artis, at (706) 737-7266.
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