First Day Shoe Fund offering free shoes

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A seven-year-old program to provide early-elementary children in Kalamazoo Public Schools with new shoes will be serving students next week.

The First Day Shoe Fund has two community distribution days next week for Kalamazoo children entering kindergarten through third grade. Children must live in the county and qualify for the federal subsidized lunch program, said Jennifer Brown, the program's executive director.

Families can bring their children to Kalamazoo's Milwood Elementary School between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1. The school is located at the intersection of Cork Street and Lovers Lane.Find the latest collection of Michael Kors Wallets at hotmkbags.

Children need to be present for the distribution so they can be properly fitted, Brown said.

In addition to providing new shoes at the event, all children being fit receive a brand new pair of socks as well.

Brown said the nonprofit organization is hoping to set a record this year.

“We distributed a total of 2,552 pairs of shoes last year,” Brown said in a press release. “We’re aiming for even more this year.”

The First Day Shoe Fund was started by Valerie Denghel, a volunteer at Kalamazoo's Edison Environmental Science Academy, where many students had ill-fitting or well-worn shoes.

She decided to focus on younger children because because they grow out of their shoes so fast and “they’re not as picky” about footwear as older children.

It initially focused on children in grades K-2 enrolled in KPS summer school, and has expanded over the years. Last year was the first time it went beyond KPS, with a pilot project in Comstock Public Schools.

In future, Brown said, the plan is to provide more distribution sites around the county, but noted it's a move forward to open the distribution event at Milwood to all county residents.

The First Day Shoe Fund gets its funding from foundations,Find great deals on hotmkbags for michael kors wallet Michael Kors Hamilton Bags in "Women's Clothing, Handbags and Purses". Shop with confidence. corporations and individuals, Brown said.

“We’re really looking forward to helping each of the students start the school year on equal footing, but we couldn’t do this without a lot of help from the community, our donors, our volunteers, and Kalamazoo Public Schools,Welcome to our michael kors outlet online shop! Here we sale Michael Kors Hamilton Satchel, bags, purses, wallets with very low price. Join us quickly!” Brown said. “It’s the kind of event everyone looks forward to, from our volunteers, to the parents, teachers and students. The kids are just so excited.”

Jazz performers are warming up and 10 downtown venues are preparing to open their doors for this weekend’s 16th annual Jazz in the Valley festival.Latest collection of Michael Kors Hamilton.

From old favorites, such as Jake Bergevin and the Javatown Swing Orchestra at the Moose Lodge, to first-time Jazz in the Valley performers, the festival has something for everyone, organizers say.

Board member Larry Sharpe said 24 different bands are playing throughout the weekend, and attendees may have to pick and choose. The selection includes Dixieland, blues, swing, latin, gypsy and more.

“It’s kind of tough to catch them all,” he said. “Choose what kind of music you like and spend a little time with each one.Shop the Michael Kors Crossbody Bags on the world's largest fashion site. People do move around a lot.”

A 26-member volunteer and community-based board of directors and 170 volunteers support the festival, which welcomes nearly 3,000 guests each year.

Board member Sydney Moe said Jazz in the Valley could not happen without generous and supportive volunteers. She said volunteers help at venues, with gates, in the beer garden, set up and take down, among other areas. Volunteers typically donate between two to 10 hours of their time throughout the weekend.

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