School store breaks down barriers in Canton

Updated: Jan. 13, 2020 at 12:30 PM EST
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CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a store where everything is free and where you’ll find your friends working. It’s breaking down barriers at Canton’s middle school.

There are hoodies. And sports equipment. Formal dress gowns. Stuff for your hair and even underarms. And of course there are the big sellers at 'the store' at Canton's middle school.

“Sweatshirts and jeans. Like probably the clothes over here. Like all these. And some shoes,” said Harper Terrell and Will McDonough, 5th graders.

And the best thing? It's all free. It builds on the concept of the elementary school's swap shop. But this is bigger. And students can take a bag full. And students do the work.

“I know some kids they don't get what they need at home. I know that working here will help them. And it will also help me feel better knowing that I'm helping some other kids,” said Terrell.

School counselor Mary Parker has been heading it up. In her work as counselor, she sees a big need for basic items among many children at Canton schools.

“It's really amazing to see these students walk in and fill a bag. And feel good, and confident and happy,” she said.

A recent post about the store on Facebook generated 500 shares. Walmart pitched in $500.

“I've had such an amazing support from the community with people donating items, people buying boxes of coats, and organizations reaching out,” said Parker.

There's also sports gear. It's so expensive these days. So this is one way of breaking down that barrier for kids.

Parker said that’s a big part of the goal: to break down barriers to achievement for all students. And of course, donations are always welcome.

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