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Spokane teacher works to get students sweatshirts

SPOKANE, Wash. -

Jesica Calkins is an English language development teacher in Spokane Public Schools. She splits her time between Audubon, Holmes and Finch Elementary Schools.

As temperatures get colder, Calkins sees more students are starting to layer up on their walk to and from school. But she knows that’s not easy for everyone because some families can’t afford coats or sweatshirts for their kids. Now, Calkins started a project to make sure her students stay warm.

Calkins told KHQ community members have raised money to get clothes for students at Holmes Elementary.

“Each kid gets a sweatshirt and a T-shirt every single year for free,” said Calkins.

Just a mile away, however, students at Audubon Elementary don’t have the same perks.

“One of the areas we’re trying to be better at is supporting them with another basic need – clothing! And what an easy way to do it is giving the kids a sweatshirt that says Audubon Eagles.

Calkins started a Gofundme page to help her students who already struggle with the basic needs.

“About 83 percent of our kids are on free and reduced lunch,” said Calkins.

She’s hoping to raise enough money so all 475 students at Audubon can get a hooded sweatshirt.

“It was pretty rainy this morning, and I saw kids walking down the street with T-shirts pulled up over their head, not wearing rain jackets,” said Calkins.

As the weather gets cooler, Calkins said her plan to keep her students warm is just starting to heat up.

“Every $15 is going to a kid, a very deserving, worthwhile kid, that lives like 3 blocks up,” said Calkins.

While the project isn’t run by Spokane Public Schools, the district says they support the project to get Audubon students some sweatshirts.

To visit the Gofundme page, click here: https://www.gofundme.com/audubonsweatshirts

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