Students tie nearly 700 warm winter items to trees, sign posts for those in need
By Toni Konz Tatman | JCPS Communications
Hundreds of gloves, scarves and hats now adorn the fences, trees and many sign posts in the west Louisville neighborhood that surrounds Johnson Traditional Middle School as part of the school's first Warm Winter Drive.
The drive was sponsored and organized by the school's Discovery Team, which includes about two dozen students with special needs.
On Monday morning, they went out into the neighborhood to hang the items.
"I just don't like seeing people cold," said Tavion Fletcher, a seventh grader. "It's a good thing to help people out who may not have warm winter clothes. Some people have been very happy. They've got a big smile on their face and they say thank you to a lot of us because they really needed them."
Jodi Cox, a special education teacher, beamed with pride as she watched her students pull a small wagon filled with the accessories across Wilson Avenue to South 26th Street.
"Whenever people look at special education and they look at our classrooms, they just see kids that can't or kids that won't," Cox said. "Our children have sorted, they've counted, they've been able to go through and make matches out of things and now they're walking around and actually doing this in our community. It makes me so proud."
Tavion, 12, says he and his classmates put boxes outside their classroom, cafeteria and front lobby to collect donations from their fellow students. Their goal was to get 500 items.
"When we counted them all up and it came to be 690 items, we were all so excited," Cox said. "This was the first time for us to do this and it definitely won't be the last, I'm sure."
Cox said it's important for all students to feel connected to their community and to learn how to give back.
Each set of gloves, scarves and hats were attached together to the trees, poles and fence with a tag that read: "I'm not lost, if you are cold, take me, I'll keep you warm. Warm wishes this holiday season, Johnson Traditional Students."