Thomasville City Schools students and faculty “stuck their necks out” by donating old gently worn jeans for families in need.
The idea to do “Jeans for Teens” was brought up by guidance counselors, Tiffany Oldham, Scholars Academy and Marcie West, MacIntyre Park Middle School during a work session during the summer. Jeans for Teens is a world-wide competition sponsored by Abercrombie that awards the school collecting the most jeans with a cash prize.
All students have “Teacher as Advisor” (TAA) in their 2nd period class every Friday. It is when the teachers work with the students to prepare them for college and other things for later on in life. Sometimes the topic is SAT preparation, and other times it has been about bullying or the dangers of exchanging information on social media.
During December, TAA classes had a “giving back” theme, so the students looked at different people who “stuck their necks out” for their community on the website www.giraffe.org. The school wanted to do something like the people on that website, so they decided to do “Jeans for Teens” to get the students to start giving back to the community. The students’ TAA classes informed the students about the jeans collection project and encouraged the students to bring in jeans.
The organizers of the effort, Oldham and West placed drop-boxes all around the Scholars Academy, Thomasville High School, and MacIntyre Park Middle School. They also extended the cause to the elementary schools and throughout the community at both YMCA’s, Thomasville Center for the Arts, and Thomasville City Schools Board Office.
People were encouraged to clean out old clothes over the Winter Break and were allowed to bring in jeans up until Friday, January 8. There were close to seven hundred pairs of jeans donated, some with tags still left on them. There were many different colors and different styles of jeans donated. Then on Saturday, January 9 the jeans were all laid out in the MPMS Cafeteria, and families could come pick out pairs of jeans for everybody in their family.
Leftover jeans were sent to different places. About thirty pairs of jeans were given to the Odyssey of Mind teams for creative purposes. Then about one hundred and fifty pairs were given to the Thomasville Rescue Mission.
Ninth grader Kaitlyn Leach recognizes the benefit to the donors as well as the recipients in the “Jeans for Teens” project.
“The people getting the jeans benefit because of course they are getting jeans to supply for their families, and the families giving the jeans are getting the satisfaction of doing a good deed,” said Leach.
The project was a great way to extend the lessons taught in Teacher As Advisor sessions and to get students involved in helping out and understanding what a difference small things can make. Community service is an important element that colleges look for in candidates. Scholars Academy students are required to perform and document 20 hours of community service each year of enrollment as a part of the “Scholars Designation” on their diploma upon graduation.