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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: October 24, 2012

Operation School Bell Helps Thousands of APS Students and Families Each Year

Assistance League program rolled out in Albuquerque in 1999 continues to provide uniform wardrobes to students in over 40 schools, helping to eradicate a major barrier to learning and academic achievement. In addition to standardized-dress schools, AL is also supporting several non-uniform schools because the need is so great.

Students and families at partner schools offer appreciation to Al and Operation School Bell in a variety of ways.

Students and families at partner schools offer appreciation to Al and Operation School Bell in a variety of ways.

Assistance League® continues to support APS students and schools in a myriad of ways.  The signature program Operation School Bell provides clothing vouchers from Fallas stores and shoe vouchers from Payless ShoeSource to students in families that cannot afford the cost.  The program has evolved from a very personnel-intense project measuring students, ordering clothing to specified sizes, and packing individual uniform wardrobes to a streamlined approach which enables parents to be involved in “school clothes shopping” and their child’s education success.  This year’s co-chairs, Janeanne Snow and Peggy Sanders, report that over 3750 vouchers have been issued and almost 2700 redeemed this school year already.  The group is carefully tracking the clothing and shoe vouchers and requests redemption by families within 60 days.  They work most frequently with counselors and family liaisons at the partner schools.

The non-profit group has been providing support to the community for over 50 years and has been working with Albuquerque Public Schools in a variety of capacities since the mid 1990’s.  In addition to Operation School Bell, programs like Kids on the Block, which offers puppet shows to elementary students on important topics like bullying, provide support and enhancement.   Several new initiatives are being rolled out this year.   Assistance League will partner with another long time JAS partner, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, to put 10,000 books in the hands of APS elementary students to make a difference in their reading skills.    New and age appropriate books are being collected at most NMEFCU locations.  In addition, the first annual Arts and Crafts fair will be held on Sunday, October 28, from 11a.m. to 5p.m. at the chapter house at 5211 Lomas NE.   All proceeds benefit community programs.    Finally, a Brunch ‘N’ Browse Christmas Shop and Thrift Boutique will be held on Sunday, November 11, from 11a.m. to 3p.m. at the same location.   A tax deductible donation of $10 will help Operation School Bell to clothe more children.  The Bargain Box continues to be one of the most successful thrift shops around and proceeds often go to support APS students.

We at APS continue to be amazed at the breadth of support and help provided by this all-volunteer group to students and families of need in our community.   Operation School Bell and Assistance League are wonderful examples of exemplary Family and Community Engagement, a major APS goal this year.  Members live and breathe the mission of “Embracing change to meet the needs of the community.”

Tags: parents