Arlington Kids' Kloset Programs
Youth who qualify for free or reduced lunches are eligible to pick out outfits twice a year, including shirts, pants, socks, shoes, and undergarments. A cornerstone of our services is to ensure that students are comfortable when shopping and can find what they want. Just like in a store, the items we provide are high quality (usually name brand) and are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, with private dressing rooms available for both boys and girls. No two students from the same school are ever given overlapping appointments.
The effects of poor hygiene can be devastating for a student’s self esteem and confidence, often having far reaching and lasting consequences. By eliminating these non-academic barriers that low-income youth face every day, we can strengthen peer relationships, create opportunities of growth and discovery, and affect positive sustained change.
Every student enrolled in our service is provided a new or gently used book of their choosing and interest twice yearly. Our modest library is stocked with something for everyone, and all of our clients have an opportunity to reap the benefits of reading early and often, improving their vocabulary, literacy, and overall performance in the classroom.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
With the support of a federal Healthy People 2020 grant, AKK is initiating a new dental program for the low-income children we serve. This grant will allow us to provide these students with oral hygiene essentials such as toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash; and high quality, professional dental care ranging from simple check-ups and cleanings to treatment for cavities, gum disease, and oral pain – common conditions which can quickly escalate to become life threatening.
Funding is always needed for clothing to augment the donations of used items that we receive, to purchase hygiene items, and for new books.