Percy Priest Elementary and Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary – partnered up for the winter with a coat and PJ collection!

Hi Parents – Our friends at Robert Churchwell, who some of you remember from last spring when several Percy Priest families volunteered to help move their entire school to a different school after it was severely damaged by the tornado, have responded to a recent UniCycle request for needs – so we’ve got a great opportunity to jump in and make winter a little warmer for a lot of families.

Days after Robert Churchwell successfully relocated their entire school in March, the pandemic shut down schools, and you all know the rest of the story. Families there have had a double whammy. They have a great Community Achieves coordinator at their school whose sole job is to connect the families to community partners and resources to help to remove obstacles to education for their students – this means things as basic as food, clothing and shelter in addition to educational supports. She’s been doing an amazing job with food pick-ups, cleaning supplies (lots of homes are still struggling through tornado repairs) and tech support.

As school navigators began reaching out to their families last week – with the same eight questions we were all asked by our teachers this week – it has come to her attention that a large portion of her students need new winter coats and some of the in-person ways those are generally distributed are not happening this year. Enter Percy Priest Elementary parents – let’s fill her closet so that coats can be sent home to students this month! When discussing additional clothing needs with families, navigators indicated that warm and fun winter pajamas would be a much-appreciated and spirit-lifting addition to the more basic and necessary need of a coat. Let’s do it all?!

UniCycle will collect gently used and new coats and PJs in sizes 4T to youth 18 on the PPE front porch for the next two weeks. They need all sizes, but the biggest needs are for sizes 10/12 and 14/16. They also have many students who wear up to size 18 youth (mostly boys). As far as buying new – keep it easy and keep in mind that Amazon Basics items tend to be great and pretty style-neutral, and Cat & Jack at Target and Wonder Nation at WalMart are similar in style and price.

Guys – thank you for being a community that is always open and enthusiastic about opportunities such as this. Our MNPS village is all the better for it. I’ll keep you updated as we collect and get items over to Robert Churchwell, and please send any questions or ideas my way at jami.m.oakley@gmail.com and also know that once things return to “normal,” UniCycle will be looking out for new volunteers up in our portable building next to Tiger Club.

Thank you!