Weiser elementary school students receive new boots

Weiser elementary students will all have drier and warmer feet this winter thanks to a generous donation. 
 On Nov. 9, Optum, in partnership with D&B Supply, North 40 Outfitters, C-A-L Ranch stores and the State Department of Education, donated boots to the Weiser elementary schools as part of their fourth annual “Give Cold Feet the Boot” statewide program. 
 Optum notified Weiser Superintendent, Wade Wilson, through a letter earlier this fall that Weiser had been selected. Optum chooses the schools based on need determined by the free and reduced lunch program. Wilson notified both Pioneer Elementary School principal, Dr. Sarah Hatfield, and Park Intermediate School principal, Brooke Winston. Both principals shared that they were overjoyed by the offer and opportunity for their students. 
 In the letter notifying Weiser of the selection for the program, Optum director, Georgeanne Benjamin,  shared that thousands of Idaho students step out the door each morning with the wrong sized shoes, worn shoes, and in some cases, no shoes at all. This is a threat to the learning environment and puts a strain on the education system. The goal of the program is to eliminate this problem for the selected schools. Every student enrolled in the schools was included regardless of income and could not be excluded for disciplinary reasons. 
 “This is our holiday gift and we want to ensure all those little toes are kept warm,”  Benjamin said. 
 Weiser’s biggest job to make the program a success was to make sure every student received the right sized boots. Optum sent a paper sizing chart, and volunteers had to size every single student’s feet. This had to be done very quickly so Optum and D&B had time to order the boots in the correct sizes. Weiser submitted all sizes to them by mid-September to ensure the boots would be delivered before Thanksgiving break. 
 For the distribution, there were several parent and community volunteers to make sure the correct boots were given to each student. In total, 632 total boots were donated to the two schools. Both Hatfield and Winston shared that the response from the community and students has been extremely positive.
 “Parents have emailed, called and responded on Facebook how happy they are that they have this gift. Parents felt relieved, and students were overjoyed! It was an amazing experience. We made sure to cheer and make a big deal by saying ‘it’s Boot Day’ for each class, clapping and  whooping it up! The kids were giddy with excitement!” Winston said.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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