Students need coats as temps plunge

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With temperatures expected to drop dramatically by the end of the week, some of Carson City's neediest may be left out in the cold.

The number of students who qualify for the Carson City School District's homeless program has more than doubled to 359 this year, up from 170 at this time last year, said Peggy Sweetland, special projects coordinator for the district.

"There are more parents in hardship situations," she said. "There are more families doubling up and more families living in hotels and motels. Parents are just having a hard time."

She said the program has about 20 coats leftover from last year, leaving it in dire need as winter approaches. All sizes are needed, from pre-kindergarten up through high school. She asked for new coats or those with little wear - "the kind of coat you'd be excited to put on yourself," she explained.

Coats will be collected through Dec. 12 at the Gleason Building, 604 W. Musser St. She said she will also accept checks made out to the Students in Transition program. Money will be used to buy coats or shirts for the standard student attire now required at four Carson City public schools.

"I am in desperate need of polos," she said.

Sweetland is in contact with counselors at each of the schools, and delivers the sizes needed to that school as they become available. Coats, she said, will help with basic needs, like getting to school every day.

"The cold snap hits and, boom, people are sick," she said.

It will also help students perform better in school once they're there.

"A warm student is a happier, more easily educated student," Sweetland said. "A hundred percent of their focus can go to learning. I know I can't concentrate on anything when I'm cold except getting warm."

You Can Help

WHAT: Donate a coat to the Students in Transition program

WHEN: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays until Dec. 12

WHERE: Gleason Building, 604 W. Musser St.

For more information or to schedule an alternate drop-off time, call Peggy Sweetland at 283-1537 or 690-7685.


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