Children at Lyon Elementary School will be a little bit warmer this holiday season.
The Zeta Amicae of Clarksdale Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, organized a coat drive for students at the school who otherwise would not be able to afford them. The Zeta Amicae has adopted Lyon Elementary School.
“Our coat drive, we do this every year for different schools – ‘Keep Warm’ project,” said Hattie Harris, present of Zeta Amicae. “We did George H. Oliver (Elementary School) for several years, so we decided to change it up and come to Lyon Elementary.”
The auxiliary has also donated coats to Booker T. Washington Elementary School, Heidelberg Elementary School and J.W. Stampley 9th Grade Academy when it was an elementary school.
The auxiliary also participates in other service projects such as serving food at the Clarksdale Care Station and reading books to different schools. For the coat drive, each member of Zeta Amicae donates five to ten coats, hats and gloves. Approximately 30 coats were donated Friday and Lyon Elementary School has 272 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Fifty coats were donated at George H. Oliver Elementary School last year.
Lyon Elementary School principal Crystal Gooden helps determine which students have the most need for a coat. She also helps make sure each child has a coat that is the right size and can last for at least two years.
“Those children are defined by the parent liaison and myself based on how they come to school, talking to students about what they have and what they need at home,” Gooden said. “We’re pretty much aware of the resources that they have available and so we give the coats out according to that information.”
The “Keep Warm” project will be at Lyon Elementary School next year and different kids will receive coats.
“It means the world to us because the cold snap came in earlier than it normally does and so a lot of our parents do not have the opportunity to try to pull resources together for us to get coats,” Gooden said. “So we had several students coming to school without coats in this cold snap. So these coats will come in very, very useful.”