More than 300 Carson City students received new shoes Monday, courtesy of generous local businesses.
Students in the McKinney-Vento Students in Transition program were given brand new sneakers as a part of their “Step into Spring” program. McKinney-Vento is a program for pre-K to 12th grade students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
“When you have new shoes you can really get your groove on,” said Peggy Sweetland, liaison for McKinney-Vento. “It helps them learn better, it helps for the students who have to walk to and from school, you just get a new skip in your step.”
The shoes were all donated by Big 5 Sporting Goods and Walmart at a discounted rate for the students. Representatives from every school site were at Big 5 Monday morning to collect the shoes, later to be given out to the students at school. The funds to by the discounted shoes were raised by community supporters such as Harley-Davidson Financial Services and St. Paul’s Lutheran Family.
“We wanted to get them good every day shoes so if they need it for P.E. or walking or just general playground play, it is a good all around shoe,” said Big 5 store manager Scott Norris.
Big 5 has been participating in Step into Spring for more than a decade, helping to provide the students with their new shoes.
“For me, it is a way to help the community, to put together good shoes for kids who need them,” Norris said.
A total of 301 shoes were given to students, and each child got a perfectly fitted pair just for them.
“The schools sized all of their feet and get fitted shoes,” Sweetland said. “It is such a positive event for the kids because the shoes actually fit them perfectly... if a child has shoes that fit, they don’t have to worry about their feet hurting or being cold, they can just focus on their learning.”