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|Shoe drive at Glassboro Schools a monumental success
"Project Footsteps," a massive grass roots Gloucester County undertaking which has collected and delivered over 52,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych],000 pairs of sneakers to mostly South African children in 10 years,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], was given an added kick last week.
Borrowing a monumentally successful idea from Glassboro sports shop owner Bob Viden,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], Bullock School third grade teacher Donna Romalino initiated a "Stepping to Learn" drive that accounted for more than 600 pairs of used and new seakers collected mostly by students in Romalino's class and Jason Clark's Bowe School fifth grade class.
Collected in just one week,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], the sneakers were delivered in two van loads to Viden's store Friday morning. Viden, who started "Project Footsteps,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych]," said the sneakers will be part of a delivery to one of two locations by the first of the year.
"It's just great,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych]," said Viden of the Glassboro school kids' efforts. "The success of this project has just amazed me."
Third graders Tomas Ramos, 8, Sean Fields, 8, and Kahlin Wright, 7, were charged with counting all the sneakers collected last week at Glassboro's Dorothy L. Bullock School by their first through third grade schoolmates. They accomplished the task by lining the shoes up along a hallway,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], according to their teacher, Donna Romalino,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], one of the organizers of the 'Stepping to Learn' sneaker drive.
Romalino wanted to challenge her students to learn to become young volunteers and contacted a family friend, Nancy Cresse,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], for ideas for a service project. Cresse, widow of volunteer extraordinaire Chip Cresse,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], founded and chairs the Cresse Foundation, whose mission is to promote and encourage volunteerism among young people. She suggested linking to Viden's established program.
Romalino challenged her students and enlisted the help of Clark, whose students responded by collecting over 450 pairs themselves.
"It's been a very positive experience," says Romalino, "well beyond my expectations."
Viden said about 99 percent of the sneakers collected in 10 years have come from Gloucester County residents. He also said about 90 percent go to locations in Africa.
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[link widoczny dla zalogowanych]