Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School students recently collected 510 pairs of jeans as part of the “Teens for Jeans” collection project.
Members of the Rachel’s Challenge club at the school held the jean drive during a two-week period which ended February 10. The jeans are donated to the Teens for Jeans drive to collect gently used jeans to be given to teen in need. The club’s goal had been to collect 500 pairs of jeans.
Rachel’s Club is an organization set up by the family of Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first person killed in the Columbine High School tragedy on April 20, 1999. Lakeland Copper Beech began the club three years ago. Many schools across the country participate in this challenge through club activities and assemblies. A grant from the Lakeland Education Foundation helped the school bring the program to the district.
“It’s important for teens to feel good about themselves to boost their self-esteem. For me, my favorite pair of jeans makes me feel great when I wear them. I would love for others to have that same feeling,” said Rachel Nadell, Grade 8.
“To be involved in Teens for Jeans means the world to me. Just giving people the comfort and warmth they deserve. To me that tells me if we work together we can accomplish anything. It’s better to give than receive,” said Gabriella Cordone, Grade 6.
Roche, an English teacher who runs Rachel’s Challenge activities at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, said members of the three-year-old club have participated in a variety of different activities each year.
The clothing retailer Aeropostale, along with DoSomething.org, who are the sponsors of the campaign, asked kids in shelters what they needed to feel “normal” in school. The overwhelming response was a pair of jeans. They report that one in three people who are homeless are teens under the age of 18.
Photo courtesy Lakeland Schools