Houghton-Kearney Elementary School opens clothing closet for students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central Unified school is taking action to make sure their students have everything they need to succeed.

Tucked away inside the Houghton-Kearney Elementary School library sits the Tiger Closet.

"We wanted to provide a resource for students to come, feel comfortable and get other items they can take home and have," said Houghton-Kearney Principal Courtney Gendron.

It's a one-stop shop for students in need of more than just books.

"We have backpacks, shoes, sweatshirts, pants, shirts, dresses, different hygiene kits," said Gendron.

What started as an idea last Fall turned into a reality this semester when a Central Unified family needed help, so Gendron started a collection.

"We ended up getting a lot of support and we had extra," explained Gendron, "so I wanted to start a closet for any other families in need."

From there the Tiger Closet was born and in just a few months, it's already helped dozens of students.

"They can come in to the closing closet, get a new item and feel good, ready to learn in the classroom," said Executive Director of the Foundation for Central Schools Serena Dohi. "That's our number one takeaway and we hope every child can achieve that."

The Tiger Closet is supported by the Foundation for Central Schools. Staff hope to expand and open additional closets on other campuses in the future.

"We want to make sure all of our students needs are met before coming to school to learn," added Gendron. "So really that's the goal, is making sure those basic needs of food, clothes, safety are met so they can succeed in school."

Items are free to students. For details on how to help, visit their website.
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