Students raise awareness by shucking shoes for a day
by James Phillips
Apr 19, 2013 | 1382 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West Jasper Elementary students were able to lose their shoes Tuesday, wearing their socks or going barefoot as a part of a community service project. Photo Special to the Eagle
West Jasper Elementary students were able to lose their shoes Tuesday, wearing their socks or going barefoot as a part of a community service project. Photo Special to the Eagle
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West Jasper Elementary School believes in giving back. That’s why students participated in a special “One Day Without Shoes” event earlier this week.

Leigh Evans, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, said she found out about the One Day Without Shoes initiative and thought it would be a great idea for the school.

The project is sponsored by TOMS Shoes, which is asking people to select a day to not wear shoes in an effort to raise awareness for problems caused by a lack of footwear in developing countries. The problems include hookworm, which is a soil-transmitted parasite affecting 740 million people worldwide.

“We teach our children to give back,” Evans said. “We want them to know that they can impact lives by doing simple things.”

Students at West Jasper were allowed to go barefoot all day Tuesday if they paid $1. Adults were asked to bring a “like new” shoe donation or $5. The school was able to raise $104.75 and had four pairs of shoes donated.

“Our students always work hard on projects like this, and I’m always so proud of them,” Principal Rita Pilling said.

Evans said TOMS does not accept donations, but encourages donations to other agencies, especially local ones. The money raised at West Jasper this week will go to the school’s clothes closet.

“I think that is a great place for it to go,” Evans said. “I’m an alumni of West Jasper, and I’m so pleased to be teaching here. Projects like this a very special to me, because I grew up about a block away and walked these halls as a little girl.”

For more information on the initiative, visit www.onedaywithoutshoes.com.