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New Orleans's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | New Orleans, Louisiana | WWLTV.com

Hundreds of students seeking school uniform help

NEW ORLEANS - Students are already paying close attention in Ms. Divino's third grade class, as five hundred students are returning to Arise Academy charter school.

Most are wearing the sharp looking uniforms, but staffers worry about those not in uniform.

"You can see it in their eyes, that feeling of either sadness or lack of self confidence, and so to start the day not feeling great about yourself is not good for our students," said principal Krista Brown. "We want to make sure that when they come in they feel confident and well equipped to look just like every other person in their class."

Parents who can't afford uniforms are already turning to school social worker Kathleen Stevens.

"But I've gotten 55 requests, requests for 55 students, and 50 of those students have gotten uniforms so far," she said.

For the third year, Arise is taking part in the Adopt A Family School Uniform Drive, which last year helped 960 students at 25 schools.

"We've already got 200 requests for students that need uniforms, and I expect the requests to go over 1000 this year," said Adopt A Family founder Kevin Buckel. "So you urgently need help? We sure do, we sure do."

"That's where I get most of the uniforms that I'm able to provide to families," Kathleen said.

This is the 23rd year Eyewitness News has worked with the non profit Adopt A Family program on the School Uniform Drive. And founder Kevin Buckel said the need is so important, but it's so easy for donors to take part and change the life of a student.

"If you sponsor a child for $50, that will buy two uniforms for the child," Kevin explained. "What we'll do is we'll mail you back the actual receipt and a thank you note from the student that you sponsored."

"Families are very, very grateful," Kathleen concluded. You can reach the Adopt A Family program by calling (504) 831-4312, or visit their website at http://la-adoptafamily/.com