NEWS from Detroit Public Schools
Office of Public Relations
Media Contact: Steve Wasko
In the homeless population, the children are often affected the most. During critical developing years when stability and constancy in the family are germane to their sociological development, it is not there. In the teen years.peer pressure and often shame follows because of their family’s circumstances. They are often in and out of shelters or the homes of relatives and friends and know that their parent(s) cannot give them what so many other children have-a home of their own and a life with fewer upheavals.
Social workers in the Detroit Public Schools understand these children’s desire for something close to normalcy in their lives. They created Operation School Bell (OSB), a free clothing program for homeless and at risk children not only in Detroit, but throughout the Tri-County area, to help meet at least one of the students’ basic needs.
On Thursday, November 6, the annual OSB event will take place at Breithaupt Career Technical Center, 9300 Hubbell, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. OSB is a joint project coordinated by DPS school social workers and the Assistance League. It is a very basic project that we take for granted but a rare experience for the children-shopping for new clothes. The social workers know that something as simple as providing appropriate clothing for these children helps to improve school attendance because it helps build the students’ confidence and self esteem. So many of them just do not have clean clothing that fits or that is in good repair.
OSB runs on volunteer power. They will once again go to Breithaupt and transform it into a department store like atmosphere. School social workers have selected students from 18 schools this year, and will accompany them on the ‘shopping spree’ at the school. They will help the students as they go through the ‘store,’ picking out warm, and eye catching, winter wear. Each child can choose a coat, hat, gloves, and underwear, plus they will receive a gift card for purchasing shoes. As they shop, the children will stuff their new items into a large duffle bag.also a gift. Other Social Workers will keep students occupied with therapeutic activities while they wait for their turn to shop.
When the students return to their schools, each one must create a thank you card for the people who made a small dream a reality. As of this year, nearly 3,000 students are a little warmer and a little happier because of the Operation School Bell program.
For information about DPS enrollment, call 313-873-7098 or visit our website at www.detroitk12.org.
# # #