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Local middle schoolers join ‘Teens for Jeans’

Youngsters collect nearly 1,300 jeans

Special Photo 
Members of the M.D. Roberts Middle School Family Career and Community Leaders of America led the charge to collect nearly 1,300 jeans for the needy in a competition that could win them $10,000 grant from Aeropostale and dosomething.org.

Special Photo Members of the M.D. Roberts Middle School Family Career and Community Leaders of America led the charge to collect nearly 1,300 jeans for the needy in a competition that could win them $10,000 grant from Aeropostale and dosomething.org.

JONESBORO — M.D. Roberts Middle School is in the running for a $10,000 grant.

The grant is part of a national competition and will be awarded to the school that donates the most jeans for the needy. The winner will be awarded Aeropostale hoodies and a school-wide pizza party.

The Family Career and Community Leaders of America student organization partnered with Aeropostale and dosomething.org in the “Teens For Jeans” community service campaign.

Principal Charmine Johnson said the students led the charge with the guidance of advisors Deborah Howard and Tiffany Gardner.

The 780-student body and its school community fell short of its goal to collect 2,000 pairs of jeans but amassed nearly 1,300 pants in roughly two weeks. She said the 1,289 gently-used jeans were donated in all sizes and delivered to the Aeropostale store at Southlake Mall in Morrow.

Johnson said the retailer provided everyone who donated jeans with a 25-percent discount coupon to use at Aeropostale stores.

“I was just impressed with how much our students were able to collect and the passion they had with collecting jeans for homeless children,” she said. “And they were happy to do it. It wasn’t like they were losing something — someone else was gaining something.”

The school regularly finds community causes to support, hosting at least one major fundraiser each year, said Johnson. Previously, the school has conducted a coat drive, a canned food drive and a sock drive. The school recently hosted a penny drive for the March of Dimes.

Johnson credited parents, teachers and administrators in this most recent school-wide effort.

“We work to give back to our community,” she said. “It creates a sense of community but it also creates a sense of community awareness and gets our students to become advocates of those who don’t have.”

The principal said the competition officially ended Feb. 24 but the effects of the charity still linger.

“It helps them to understand that people in the community have needs and that we can make a contribution to help meet those needs in various ways,” said Johnson. “They not only can make an impact on what goes on here but what goes on in the greater community.”