News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
On Monday, October 16, 2017 the Operation School Program® clothed its 57,000th child! Shown in the photo above is A’Rayah Pastures, a 3rd grade student at Forest Glen Elementary School in Lawrence Township. A’Rayah’s personal shopper was Deb Myers, Operation School Bell-Apparel Chair.
Since 1984, Assistance League® of Indianapolis, through its Operation School Bell®-Apparel Program, has been CREATING A BRIGHTER TOMORROW for many children in Indianapolis.
Our goal for 2017 is to clothe 3,375 disadvantaged students. Children are referred by school personnel from Indianapolis Public Schools and The Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Pike, Warren and Washington Townships.
Students are bussed to our shop, located in the IPS Forest Manor Professional Development Center, where they are treated to a unique shopping experience. The children are excited to receive special treatment from their own personal shopper, an Assistance League member, who will guide them in choosing their new school items. Each child receives a new warm winter coat, hat and gloves, socks, undergarments, and a belt. They also receive 2 pair of pants, or a jumper or skort, 3 collared shirts, hygiene items, a book and a duffel bag to hold all of their new items.
In addition to Operation School Bell – Apparel, Operation School Bell – Shoes began in 2000-01, providing new athletic shoes for 1,108 IPS school children. This program continues to grow and now includes children from IPS and the Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence, Pike, Warren, Washington, and Wayne Townships. The program’s goal is to reach 2,850 students this year.
Operation School Bell® Beyond the Bell was made a permanent program of Assistance League® of Indianapolis in 2014. This program provides a supply of new clothing to IPS schools served by Operation School Bell – Apparel. Student recipients of Beyond the Bell items are homeless, displaced or new to their school and are not otherwise served by Operation School Bell.
The 2017 – 2018 goal for the 3 Operation School Bell® programs will be to serve 4,800 students.
Operation School Bell® helps children arrive in the classroom better prepared to learn. Studies show that children who come to school appropriately dressed show improvement in classroom performance, attendance and self-esteem. The poverty level of elementary aged children has grown significantly as measured by the number of children qualifying for the free/reduced lunch program. In the five school districts served by Operation School Bell, a staggering 43,451 students now qualify for free lunch.
Assistance League® of Indianapolis, with the support of their 200+ volunteer members strive to provide comfort to children and adults in the greater Indianapolis area. To learn more about our programs, please visit our Programs Page.