LAYTON — Sometimes it’s sad to see what students wear to school, sometimes it’s scary, said Brenda Hagen, a second grade teacher at Fremont Elementary in Davis County.
That is why she signed up to accompany a child on a shopping spree courtesy the Davis Education Foundation, a non-profit organization set up to help students and classrooms in Davis School District with needs not covered by public funding.
In the annual tradition known as “Child Spree,” 200 children found to be in need are given $125 to shop with adult volunteers. Kohl’s kicks in a 20 percent discount to stretch the funds even further.
With the help of a list provided by their parents, the children had a chance to select shoes, shirts, socks, slacks and uniforms to prepare for the coming school year.
After shopping, each child received a toothbrush, a book and a backpack filled with school supplies thanks to an Eagle Scout project coordinated by Carter Erickson.
Liz Trott, a Syracuse mother with three children who qualified to particiate, called the event reassuring.
“It’s hunbling and it’s reassuring at the same time,” she said, “knowing that they will have new clothes for school and I don’t have to stress about it too much.”
“It’s heart-warming,” said Burke Larsen, a member of the Davis School District Board of Education. Seeing the community reach out to those in need is “just phenomenal,” he said.
“It’s good for kids to see how many caring adults there are in the community,” said Pamela Park, assistant superintendent of Davis School District. “It sends a strong message of a strong community and that we want them to do well in school and have every opportunity they can.”
Superintendent Bryan Bowles said his son helped at Child Spree one year and then wondered about the academic success of the student he’d helped all throughout the year.
Hagen and her fellow-teachers at Fremont, a Title I school, were hoping to direct their children to the shoe department first during the spree. Because while it’s sad if kids don’t have clothing as nice as other kids’ clothing, said Hagen, it’s “scary” when kids come to school