Forest Trail Elementary and Valley View Elementary students have collected 9,600 socks to donate to Austin's homeless population. The "Socktober" fundraiser is an annual event at FTE, and this year the Falcons challenged their neighbor VVE to participate.
Laura Hitt, a 5th grade teacher at Forest Trail, has organized Socktober for the past three years. Her students are spearheading the project by creating posters, counting socks, recording totals on a chart in their class room, keeping a daily tally of which class has donated the most socks, making daily announcements of the leading classes and keeping the school excited about the event. They have been working hard all month to make this event a huge success.
Last year Forest Trail successfully collected and donated 1,700 pairs of socks to local homeless shelters. Raising their goal ever higher, 5th graders set a target to collect 2,500 pairs of socks this year. The support and response to this year's Socktober has quite literally "blown the socks" off their goal. By the end of the third week, they received more than 4,039 pairs of socks! If the current numbers are any indication to go by, Forest Trail's 5th graders are well on their way to collecting over 5,000 pairs of socks!
The FTE 5th graders have taken their philanthropic creative spirit to a new level by teaming up with another fund drive currently underway at their school. Ms. Lewis, the PE Teacher, collects toiletries throughout the school year and donates them to Austin's homeless shelters. Combining the efforts of both these fund drives, Ms. Lewis's students will stuff socks with travel-sized shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, etc. to create "sock care packages" which they will donate to a few different homeless shelters.
To throw in a little Socktober fun, Hitt's 5th graders take turns announcing the top five classes who have donated the most socks on the school's morning broadcast. The teacher of the leading class has the honor of wearing a golden crown of dangling socks for the day. And for the class who donates the most socks at the end of the month – they'll win an extra class of PE!
Currently, Forest Trail led in number of socks collected – 5,594 to 4,005 pairs of socks. These are pretty impressive numbers for Valley View, considering they began collecting socks a week late AND this is their very first year to participate in Socktober.
In conjunction with this project, Mrs. Hitt's 5th graders have been researching important facts about homelessness across America and the homeless population in Austin. Every year the response and giving spirit of their school's community models the importance of a giving and kind heart to those less fortunate.
"We want our students to know they can make good things happen and to encourage and inspire them to have a positive impact in their community and their world," said Hitt.
Socktober is a national campaign promoted by Kid President to raise awareness of America's homeless problems by mobilizing individuals, schools and communities across the country to collect and donate new socks to their local shelters.