New, gently used clothing available to Clintonville students
By Bert Lehman
With the help of Sue Aschliman and the Clintonville Rotary, Clintonville Middle School and Clintonville High School each have a clothes closet for students in need of clothing.
A little over a year ago, Aschliman said a teacher at the middle school contacted her and told her about two students who had shoes in poor condition. The teacher was going to buy shoes for the students and was wondering what Aschliman had available at her store.
“I found some on the clearance rack and I gave them to her for a reduced price,” Aschliman said.
A week later Aschliman received a call from a social worker about a middle school student who was in basketball but couldn’t play in games because the student didn’t have the proper footwear. Aschliman also helped in this circumstance.
A short time later Scott Werfal, principal at Clintonville Middle School and Jeff See, associate principal at the school, were guest speakers at a Clintonville Rotary meeting. There, Aschliman asked them if there was a need at the middle school for a clothes closet for students.
“They said, ‘Absolutely,’” Aschliman said.
With the help of the Rotary, Aschliman worked with the middle school in setting up a clothes closet in a room at the school. Clothing racks were donated by Ann Fuge. The racks were assembled by special education teacher Rebecca Schoenike and her students.
“She’s the one who has really been instrumental,” Aschliman said.
She added, “The students were very proud of what they accomplished.”
See said the clothes closet at the middle school has been available to students since November.
“It has been very useful,” See said. “The students are appreciative. A lot of these kids won’t come to us to tell us their shoes are blown out and literally the soles are flapping.”
See added that the clothes closet is set up in a room that isn’t near the main traffic flow of students.
“We really try to make it discrete,” See said.
He said items in the clothes closet include shirts, pants, coats, shorts, and new underwear and new socks. Clothing appropriate for marching band members is also available.
“Even athletic things like cleats, football gloves, anything you think a middle school aged kid could use, we’re always looking for anything we can get,” Werfal added.
See said school staff will alert him or Werfal about students who could possibly benefit from the clothes closet. They then contact the school counselor who is the one who takes students to the clothes closet to pick items out.
A clothes closet was recently added to the high school, in what was the former school store, which hadn’t been in operation the last few years.
Referrals also go through the guidance office at the high school.
“Teachers are aware of it so if they’re aware of a student that they know is in need of something they can make a referral to the office or the guidance office to meet with that student to take care of whatever needs that need to be taken care of,” said Lance Bagstad, Clintoinville High School principal.
Aschliman said the schools have taken over the clothes closet project.
Those interested in donating gently used clothing or footwear, or new underwear and new socks, can drop items off at the schools or bank locations in Clintonville. Once collected, the clothes will be washed and sorted.