Open Closets for Students in Need

Schools are increasingly implementing policies not only to educate children, but to deliver programs that meet the non-academic needs of students, including health and brain health awareness. With the COVID-19 crisis lingering this is a focus in the schools and the changes it has had on our student population.  Some of our students may not have the resources for basic hygiene or a caretaker to provide them with food, personal care items, or age/season appropriate clothing.

The purpose of the “Open Closet” is to provide basic needs for students who may not have access to items in the following areas: food pantry items, a clothing closet, toiletries, bus passes, and various other hygiene items and items to make them feel ready and prepared for the day.  The goal is to reduce absenteeism and help students get to school to focus on their future instead of what they are wearing or where they are going to find the money for dinner or hygiene items, thus reducing social stigmas associated with the lack of essential needs. The “Open Closet” will give students direct and discreet access to what they need, when they need it, free of charge. Basic clothing items will be available in a variety of sizes. Items for hygienic purposes will be purchased new and/or donated by local stores or doctor offices to keep up with the need of students.

 The “Open Closet” program will support students at the secondary schools who are lacking access to essential items that impact their learning. The Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools will assist the schools in facilitating both in-kind and financial donations, as well as recognizing donors appropriately.