Making the jump from middle to high school is a momentous occasion.
Most Kyrene students leave the confines of their smaller schools for the larger high school setting. But before they do, the eighth-grade students have a couple activities that signify not only the end of the school year, but the end of that particular era in their academic lives.
Only these events are not as special for everyone. For the year’s end eighth-grade dance and promotion ceremony, there are girls that do not have the financial ability to purchase a dress or shoes or jewelry or get their makeup done. A program within the district that is currently going on is designed to change that, if even just a little bit.
The district is collecting the above items for the second year of Wishes Come True and for the month of April, they will be accepting donations of new or gently used dresses, shoes, and accessories.
“When a student comes up to you and says they want a dress but don’t have one, it can be heartbreaking,” said Amanda Hamm, prevention manager for Kyrene and former classroom teacher. “(Last year) I didn’t know how amazing it was going to be. It feels like a warm hug. The girls are so ecstatic.”
Several clubs have jumped on board to help in the collection effort. The Mountain Pointe dance team, the Altadeña Middle School student council, and the Mountain View Lutheran Church youth group will all be collecting individually. Dresses can be dropped off at any of those locations or at the Kyrene School District office, 8700 S. Kyrene Road in Tempe, or the Kyrene Family Resource Center, 1330 E. Dava Drive in Tempe.
In early May, girls who have been selected by their teachers or school administrators will visit the Kyrene Family Resource Center to pick out a dress, shoes, accessories, and get their makeup done. They will have people on site to alter the dresses and hand out goody bags as well.
“Our classroom teachers know who your kids in need are,” Hamm said. “(At the event) they are so grateful and they are teary-eyed. It is definitely the way to end the school year.”
Hamm said that while they are taking dresses of all sizes, there is more of a need for sizes eight and up.
Last year, they collected between 15 and 20 dresses, but this year they have stepped up the effort and Hamm said she expects to bring in about 50.
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