The administration and PTSA will soon unveil the Manual Community Closet (MCC), an in-school supply of dress-code compliant clothing and outerwear, toiletries, school supplies, and snacks.
Up to this point, students and families needing aid have relied on the Clothing Assistance Program (CAP), which is run by JCPS and the 15th District PTA. However, because Manual lacks the funding for a Family Resource Coordinator, it has been difficult for those in need to connect with CAP.
“We’ve been hearing for the last few years that there are students at Manual who need the support of CAP,” said Pinky Jackson, PTSA President. “Getting them involved would usually be the job of a Family Resource Coordinator, but that position is only funded for schools with a certain number of students on free or reduced lunch. This year, we don’t meet that threshold, but we still have a number of people who need this kind of help.”
The purpose of the Community Closet will be two-fold. First, any students needing help during the school day may discreetly request access to the closet and will be allowed to take any clothing or supplies they need for the day. Second, if necessary, MCC volunteers will work to coordinate enrollment in CAP for long-term help.
Abby Durbin (11, HSU) believes that the Community Closet will significantly benefit Manual. “I think it will promote kindness, generosity, and an overall feeling of acceptance for the varying socioeconomic levels that are present in this school,” said Durbin.
Though the Community Closet will open on a date to be determined, students needing immediate assistance may request a key from the guidance office.
Those wishing to contribute may place donations of school supplies, after school snacks, dress-code appropriate clothing, and shoes in the bin at the front entrance. Donated items that do not fit the closet’s space will be taken to CAP.