BY Amelia Ferrell Knisely, Charleston Gazette-Mail
Kids show up to West Virginia schools in worn-out shoes with holes, the used soles separating from the shoes. There are kids who show up in a sibling’s hand-me-down footwear, their smaller feet clunking around in the ill-fitting shoes.
It can be uncomfortable, impractical and embarrassing.
Teachers, school counselors and bus drivers are often the first to look down and notice when a child is desperately in need of a new pair of shoes.
“Unfortunately, we get a lot of requests for shoes during school,” Melissa Harper, who works with hundreds of homeless students in Kanawha County Public Schools, said.
“Shoes are not just a need for my homeless students but for many students across Kanawha County,” she added.
In Mingo County, Homeless Students Liaison Drema Dempsey said the need for new shoes extends beyond the nearly 300 homeless students she oversees.
“It’s county wide, not just the homeless students,” Dempsey said.