New organization helping students get a fresh start for school

The Attic is located inside the Kirksville Area Technical Center

A new organization is helping students get a fresh start for their day at school.

In a discreet, upper level room of the Kirksville Area Technical Center, students are finding a new way to show on the outside, who they really are, inside.

Katie Miley is a secretary at the KATC. She helped to start the project for the students she sees walk by her desk every day.

“It started from something very small, and the wheels just started turning and it became so much bigger,” Miley said. “A summer ago, some of us within the school district had a rummage sale, and when we got done with the rummage sale, we had so many leftover items, we just started thinking, ‘What are some things that we could do with those items?’

Miley says they decided to keep the items at the school in case there were students who could benefit from them.

That idea has turned into what’s called, ‘The Attic.’ It houses clothing items of all sizes and seasons that’s school and workplace appropriate, along with toiletry and hygiene items.

Miley said there was a need for a service like it in the school district.

“We have a lot of students that are, I used the term misplaced, they may not have actual homeless status within the school district, however they may be couch surfing, they may not be living in a permanent type residence with a mom and dad,” Miley explained. “We can offer them more support, because they may not have that support coming from their home.”

Students can be referred by a teacher, outside community service worker, or, they can stop by and “shop” for whatever they’d like.

“They just come to the office and let us know that they may need a few items. The Attic is in a very discreet location, nobody has to know that they are up there,” Miley said.

A sign of living in poverty is lack of hygiene. And when students have the clothing and supplies they need to be clean and look nice, that can mean more time spent learning in the classroom.

“School attendance is actually much higher for those who feel positive, and have a good outlook, so whenever they are confident in the clothing they wear, attendance goes up, they don’t feel bullied as much, so many things. It’s just a better scenario all the way around,” Miley said.

If you’d like to help, The Attic is accepting monetary donations or gift cards that will be used to purchase items that are the greatest need and urgency, new toiletry items such as deodorant, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, combs, shaving products, and so on, or all sizes and styles of new undergarments for both young women and men.

Donations can be dropped off at the Kirksville Area Technical Center Office Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information or to arrange a pick-up, call 660-665-2865.

Or if you’d like to mail a donation to The Attic, send it to: Kirksville Area Technical Center, Attn: Katie Miley, 1103 S. Cottage Grove, Kirksville, MO 63501 (Memo: “Student Closet”).

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