Racks of clothes and shelves of brand new school supplies fill two rooms of the old Northwood Middle School in the Mead School District, ready for students who need a little help getting ready for the first day of school.
The Student Resource Hub opened to students by appointment this week.
“We are very, very excited about this,” said Coordinator of Student and Family Services Kelly Schultz. “We want people, especially people on the north end, to know that this resource is here. Most of the resources are downtown.”
While the Student Resource Hub is run and housed by the Mead School District, it’s not only for Mead students, Schultz said. Invitations were sent to schools in Riverside, Nine Mile and Deer Park.
“I don’t think people realize what a need there is in the north county area,” she said.
The Hub started small last year, only providing school supplies with a grant meant to assist homeless students and children in foster care. This year, the school district has partnered with Teen and Kid Closet to provide new and gently used clothes for children of all ages, from infants to teens.
“We always knew we wanted to have a clothing closet,” Schultz said. “They do such a good job of making sure the clothes are what teens want to wear.”
Students must be referred to the Student Resource Hub by a staff member at their school, a social worker, the Boys and Girls Club or other organization.
“We want to make it as accessible as possible,” she said. “You don’t have to be homeless or in foster care, especially these days.”
The students are then given a time to come shop on a day when the Hub will be open. But when the student comes, they can also pick up items for siblings as well, Schultz said. “We also have teenage parents that may need clothes for themselves and their infant,” she said.
The Hub stocks just about every school supply item one can imagine. In addition to basics like pens, pencils, crayons and notebooks, there are calculators, protractors and binder dividers. There are also lunchboxes and backpacks.
“We don’t do any used school supplies,” she said. “We try to have everything a student will need to feel prepared and confident on that first day of school.”
Project Beauty Share has provided personal care items such as soap, shampoo, deodorant and makeup. There are also racks of shoes and packs of brand new underwear and socks.
“We can always use more shoes,” she said. “Those are always on the wish list, shoes and underwear.”
Even the racks and shelving inside the new Student Resource Hub were donated.
“NorthTown Mall let us come and scavenge their basement for all the displays and clothing racks,” she said.
The Hub will be open for appointments Aug. 9, 11, 17 and 25 as well as Sept. 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28. An open house was held toward the end of July to let people know that the Hub was up and running. “I started getting referrals the day after our open house,” she said.
The district is still looking for volunteers to help run the Hub.
“We are always looking for volunteers, both working in the space and working behind the scenes,” she said. “There are a lot of different volunteer opportunities with this type of resource.”
Those interested in volunteering have to put in an application and pass a background check. The application is available online at www.mead354.org.
Donations of clothing, shoes or new, unopened packs of socks and underwear can be dropped off at Teen and Kid Closet at 307 E. Sprague on the first Saturday of each month between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Donations can also be brought to any First Interstate Bank branch. Cash donations can be made online at www.teenkidcloset.org.
Schultz said she hopes the Student Resource Hub will provide important assistance to any student in need who lives in north Spokane County. She hopes the help they provide will make it easier for students to focus on school.
“It’s actually been a need for a while,” she said. “We want them to feel confident and good about themselves when they come in the door.”
Nina Culver can be reached at email@example.com.
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