PITTSBURG — Forty-five students at Westside Elementary school will be sporting new Adidas gym shoes this summer.
Frontenac High School students delivered 45 pairs of shoes to the Pittsburg elementary school on Friday. The shoes were part of cooperative effort between a graphic design class and a business class. Students raised nearly $1,000 selling T-Shirts to buy the shoes through Eric Gudde’s classes.
“When you’re a kid, image means a lot,” Gudde said. “When you get new shoes, kids take notice. So it gives students a little pride going into the summer.”
The business class is called Raiders Ink and the T-Shirts were designed by sophomore Annie Barton in a graphic design class.
“It makes me feel good that we give stuff that families might not be able to afford,” Barton said.
The T-shirts sold for $10, with the $6 profit going towards purchasing shoes. Nearly $1,000 was raised since April 1.
This is the fourth year the class has raised money by selling T-Shirts, but the first time the Frontenac school reached out to another district.
Gudde said the fundraiser averaged about $400 each prior year. He said the additional money was probably because of the change of venue.
Westside Elementary has the highest rate of students in the district receiving free or reduced lunch with 79 percent. Counselor Megan Dixon said 15 students were previously fitted for shoes earlier this year and have been asking ‘when are the shoes coming’ ever since.
“Our school, our children are very appreciative,” she said.
The other shoes are a variety of sizes fit for elementary students.
The T-Shirts and the shoe fundraiser match a global effort through TOMS called One Day Without Shoes, which has given away over 60 million pairs of shoes in 70 countries.
Barton’s design was chosen by educators from around the state in an Internet forum, Gudde said.
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love,” a Mother Teresa quote says on the back of the T-Shirts.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.