Barnum Woods donates thousands of shoes to charity


The students of Barnum Woods Elementary School in East Meadow collected 2,598 shoes during their third annual “Shoe Drive.”

Each year, the school-wide event yields thousands of recyclable shoes that are loaded into a moving van and sent to Wearable Collections in Manhattan. The company focuses on keeping clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills while generating funds for charities.

“Besides our students learning about the value of recycling to help Mother Earth, Barnum kids are also engaging in genuine humanitarian efforts,” said Principal Greg Bottari “To this end, our Annual “Shoe Drive” serves a teachable moment for our youngsters in a variety of ways.”

PMT Chairperson and Teacher Melody Schiller added, “By taking part in this process . . . students put into action the “Reduce Reuse Recycle” lessons we strive to teach. This is the best way for our young students to truly understand the lessons of Earth Day and to see that they have the power every day to do something to protect their environment.”

Students learn to assess what they no longer need and understand how items like a weathered pair of shoes could be recycled and used for other purposes.

Each year, the shoe drive is treated like a contest and the students who collect the most earn a brunch. This year, the honor went to Jennifer Lasher’s first-grade class, which collected 400 shoes.

–Brian Stieglitz