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Thoreau Park Waves Hello to 2021 and Boots out 2020 This December

December 22, 2020

Wave Hello

Thoreau Park Elementary School ‘Waved Hello to 2021 and Booted out 2020’ this December with a glove and boot drive for students in the building!

The goal of the project was to collect enough gloves and mittens to surprise each student with a new pair before winter break. The building also wanted to provide new winter boots for students in need. Thoreau Park staff was invited to donate gloves and mittens, sponsor a student to purchase boots for and make a donation to support the cause.

The idea came from the building’s home liaison Catherine Catalano and first-grade teacher Michele Badowski. They coordinated the efforts and successfully collected gloves and mittens for each student as well as over 50 pairs of boots. 

“Michele and I were discussing the needs of our students,” Catalano explained. “We discussed the food drive, the coat drive and asked ‘What else do our kids need? We came up with the catchphrase and it took off to a very successful event. We opened up the idea to the staff and community to support this event in any way to make it as successful as possible.”

Parma Target generously donated $200 and Parma City School District's Administrative Offices with PCSD’s Department of Community and Family Connections joined in to make the project a success. 

“From my perspective, I am in my fourth year at Thoreau Park and have seen many students walking to and from school in the winter without boots,” Principal Theodore Bickley shared about the project. “We have received glove and mitten donations in previous years and provided those to students as needed, usually during recess in the winter when they are playing outside without any gloves. Knowing how many gloves we give out every winter in a normal year, we wanted to ensure that students were still getting these needed items even though they are currently learning remotely.”

Staff and the community always step up and generously gives, he added. And families are always expressing their gratitude.

“Especially with students not able to access the physical structure of Thoreau Park, which is a safe environment in many ways, this is one way we can extend that to families,” Bickley expressed. “The Thoreau Park Family has deep and strong feelings when it comes to making sure our students are provided with needed items. This is just the latest example of this compassion.”