Early Learning Center Opens ‘Baby Hangers’ Clothing Resource for Evansville Preschoolers
Over the years, we have talked and written a lot about Hangers - the EVSC Foundation's student clothing resource. Hangers provides clothing and personal hygiene products for students within the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). Representatives from Hangers and the EVSC recently cut the ribbon on a new clothing resource called the PEO (Personal Essential Opportunity) Shoppe, aka, "Baby Hangers."
The PEO Shoppe is located inside the Culver Family Learning Center, where my friend Davida Johnson is an Early Learning Specialist and the building manager (she's also the one cutting the ribbon). I asked her to tell me more about this new resource for Evansville's smallest students.
What is the PEO Shoppe?
There are obvious similarities between Hangers and the PEO Shoppe, and there is one big difference too. The difference is that families will have to 'earn' the opportunity to visit the shop. Davida explains,
Families can volunteer in the school, in their child’s classrooms, or even attend parenting classes to receive an opportunity to visit the shop to get those essential items. If we help families to learn how to familiarize themselves with their child’s school, how to talk to teachers and administrators, they may most likely stay involved through the rest of their children’s school-age tenure. Children of families who are involved in schools have a higher rate of good attendance, turning homework in on time, and graduating from high school.
Why the PEO Shoppe?
If EVSC students already have access to the Hangers clothing resource, then why do we need essentially the same thing in a different building? Davida tells me that the idea began when Hangers realized that they were not able to meet the needs of preschoolers the way they wanted to. Hangers asked Culver Family Learning Center if they could help. Culver just happened to have the perfect space in the back of their gym that was already stocked with shelving.
Next thing you know, the donated bags of clothing started to pile up, followed by a group of volunteers from Hangers to help organize the new shop. Before too long, the new "Baby Hangers" was ready to go - now all they needed was a ribbon and some scissors.
Davida tells me that since the new clothes closet has been opened, people and organizations from all over the community have donated items.