Operation School Bell has its own delightful ‘school house’ at 1525 North Sierra Nevada, where a bright room, decorated with clever drawings, awaits underprivileged children who receive brand new clothes and shoes. The elementary schoolchildren are given 6 pairs of underwear and socks, 2 polo shirts, a jacket, a sweatshirt, a hygiene kit, a $15 shoe card to be redeemed at Payless Shoes, and a book and/or a toy. Our newest partner, the Mason’s Morning Star Lodge, helps deliver the bags of clothing to local schools that do not have transportation to our Operation School Bell building. We have clothed approximately 30,000 ‘School Bell Children” since 1989. Go to “More about Operation School Bell” for more information.
The Kids on the Block, Inc. We use this nationally-acclaimed puppet program to teach 3rd grade children to be accepting of others who may be different, and also how to be safe in difficult home or school situations. Our puppet shows deal with social issues that children face every day. Our titles are: Divorce/Separation, Bullies, School Safety, and Cerebral Palsy. The shows are performed for Stockton’s public elementary schools. Over 2,500 third graders enjoy these shows each year. At the end of each show, the children ask the puppet characters questions and make comments. One youngster told Mark, our Cerebral Palsy puppet, “I have C.P. too, and someday I’ll be in a wheelchair.” The child met with Puppet Mark after the skit and they talked for a few minutes about all the things the child could still do in a wheel chair. Go to “More about The Kids on the Block” for more information.
Comfort Kits are backpacks filled with lots of age- and gender-appropriate comfort, educational, and hygiene items for (a) children who are in foster care and (b) adults or children who have been traumatized by a violent assault. One of our long-standing partners, the San Joaquin County Child Abuse Prevention Council, distributes the foster children’s kits for us, and another partner, the Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services, delivers kits to assault survivors. Thanks to a grant from BeautiCare’s Foundation, each of the Comfort Kits for foster children will have a $25 gift card so eachchild will be able to buy something special for himself; what a gift to bolster pride!
Book Buddies are our member volunteers who visit Stockton’s Lottie Grunsky School each week to help second graders who are struggling with their reading skills. Our adult Book Buddies spend 30 minutes with each student, listening to him read aloud and practice the school’s phonics program. The principal has credited our program with helping the students raise their reading scores. At the June 2016 School Board Meeting, Book Buddies was recognized done their contribution to improving reading scores. Go to “More about Book Buddies” for more information.
Operation Rescue works with a few local educational institutions to supply their clients who are ready to enter the workforce with clothing appropriate for a job interview. Their clients visit our thrift shop and a personal shopper helps them find suitable attire so they can go to the job interview with greater self-confidence.