LAWTON, Okla._The 2015-2016 school year is about to start for Lawton Public Schools, and all of the elementary schools and one middle school have adopted the modified dress code.
The modified dress code requires students to wear a solid color polo without an emblem and either slacks or short in black, navy blue or khaki for boys. Girls have the same requirements, but they can also wear capris, skirts or jumpers. Denim is not allowed.
Counselors, teachers and principals say they have seen an improvement in their students' academics and behavior since the modified dress code was implemented. However, the new dress code has put a financial strain on some families, and that's where Attire to Aspire comes in.
Attire to Aspire was started by Kimberly Jones, a science teacher at MacArthur High School, as a way to benefit the elementary school students in Lawton. A quote Jones always says is "We better the people, we better the community."
Jones says they were able to donate around 600 uniforms in the program's first year, 2013. They were able to donate closer to 540 uniforms in 2014. The 2015-2016 school year is the first time that all 17 elementary schools will take part in the modified dress code, so Jones is hoping the Lawton-Fort Sill community will be able to step up to the plate again and help out.
Donations of new, or gently used clothing items, can be dropped off at MacArthur High School or Eisenhower High School. Checks can be made out to MacArthur High School with Attire to Aspire written in the memo section. Monetary donations can also be made through their GoFundMe account.
"This year I did something different. I had to change up the strategy simply because there's going to be more of a demand for the program. We do have a GoFundMe.com for Attire to Aspire. That way people in the community or people around the nation that would like to donate, they can go to GoFundMe.com/AttiretoAspire can they can donate that way," Jones explained.
Jones says they had between 30 and 40 uniforms on hand Friday afternoon and she believes they'll be gone by the beginning of the week.
"We already had parents calling requesting uniforms. Most of the uniforms I have on hand right now will be gone by early next week because of the requests we have coming in," Jones explained.
Jones says they're looking to raise $7,000 this year between money and clothing donations. She says it may seem like a lot, but they were able to raise $6,000 in the first year.