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What to do with those Halloween costumes of years gone by? Donate them! Julian Thomas Elementary School is having a Halloween Costume Drive that will benefit the Community Schools in Racine.

Leigh Ann Martinez is employed at United Way of Racine as the Community School Coordinator for Julian Thomas Elementary School. The school had a costume parade this year for the students; the first one in years. Some students, however, did not have costumes, which led Martinez to coordinate this costume drive.

“Many of the students that attend the community schools belong to families that are in low socio-economic income brackets in Racine and purchasing a new costume for their children may be an expense that they cannot afford,” said Martinez. “In an effort to see more smiles on children’s faces next year, the staff asked if I could coordinate a collection of costumes from the community.”

Instead of packing those costumes away, why not donate them?

Halloween costume collection information:

Martinez will be collecting costumes now through December 3 at Julian Thomas Elementary School, 930 Dr. Martin Luther Kind Dr., during school hours. Ring the doorbell at Door 1 and let the office staff know you are there to drop off costumes. Costumes should be new or gently used and clean, and must not include weapons. Call the school at (262) 664-8400 with further questions.

Once the drive is over, items will be sorted and distributed to all three of Racine’s Community Schools: Knapp Elementary, Mitchell K-8 (new this year), and Julian Thomas.

“Community schools,” Martinez explains, “provide integrated student supports through collaborations with organizations, nonprofits and businesses in the greater community. With these collaborations, the school becomes a hub for the community as it provides a variety of services and opportunities in one central location. Examples of these services include tax workshops, mental health clinics, dental clinics, ESL courses, HSED courses and more to help all members of the community thrive.”

A Community School Coordinator’s job is to find creative solutions for the needs of faculty, staff, students and their families. This creative solution will impact the lives of many children for next Halloween and in the years to come.