First Presenter's Institution

St. Petersburg High School's Green Devils' Closet

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NQ

Location

Session 5 (Westbrook)

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

Young people are hungry. Lonely. Scared. Taking care of siblings. Cooking. Trying to be "normal." The Closet opens each day to assist each "Closeteer" with the supplies they need to make it through the day, night, week, even the month. Day-after-day, the Closet helps students-at-risk. The teen with a child. The 17-year old who now cares for her grandmother.

Supported entirely by the community, in-school service programs, and even former Closeteers, our mission is to support "any member of the Green Devils community without question or judgment.' This is not a big space in size: merely 6' x 8 ' - a mere 48 square feet in size. Yet it helps level the playing field for students and their families who face the quandary, "I have $5 or $10 to spend. I need gas, bus passes, food, tampons, soap to clean and wash the clothes. School supplies are needed. Now what?" More information at @GDPantry on Facebook.

Brief Program Description

Using a "real" grocery list, cash money, and an unexpected situation, attendees put themselves in the shoes (or socks) of the children-at-risk and families who need support in a hands on, solution centered workshop. Workshop participants walk away with culturally relevant materials that will allow them to find funding for a 6'x8' corner of hope--at little or no cash cost. But that makes all the difference in the world.

Summary

At-risk. Title One. Foster care. Broken home. Transitional housing. Temporary shelter. These "titles" equate to survival decisions for each person who is affected by them. Where do they go? How do we find a place? What about confidentiality? Funding? Worry not. This is the little Closet that could--and does--help children and families each and every day. It is small, powerful, far-reaching. Working in small groups, attendees will see what "really" matters. Evidence will prove that a place to level the playing field extends beyond the today or even the school year. A sense of benevolence appears. Donors and Closeteers see how "they" make a difference in how others are "making" a difference. All materials provided, including grant sources, measurements, and the list that makes requesting, stocking, and sharing the Closet possible.

Evidence

Students-at-risk show markedly lowered behavior incidents when their social, scholastic, and familial needs are met. Families facing financial and/or social crisis respond favorably to assistance in which "one" child is favored but rather the entire family unit is assisted. Shown to reduce bullying and level the learning playing field.

See How to Stop Bullying in Classrooms and Schools: Using Social Architecture to Prevent, Lessen, and End Bullying

by Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Earning the title "Teacher of the Year" two years in a row (once for the 5-county area and once for the Council for Exceptional Children), Tracey Keim founded her Green Devils Closet fifteen years ago with the idea that Prom dresses would change everything. How wrong she was. Her story and "a-ha" moment built a tiny, powerful closet at her alma mater that now is mirrored in other schools in her county, state and even Australia. She was the 2018 St. Petersburg Exchange Club Woman of the Year for the Project and takes pride in being nicknamed her school'd "Grant Writing Queen." A People's Choice finalist in 2019, Tracey loves her husband, her poodles, and the career that transformed her and others.

Keyword Descriptors

Closet, Grants, Clothing, Title One, Poverty, Behavior, Bullying

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 10:15 AM

End Date

3-10-2020 11:30 AM

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Mar 10th, 10:15 AM Mar 10th, 11:30 AM

The Devil is in YOUR Closet: 48 square feet can change EVERYTHING

Session 5 (Westbrook)

Using a "real" grocery list, cash money, and an unexpected situation, attendees put themselves in the shoes (or socks) of the children-at-risk and families who need support in a hands on, solution centered workshop. Workshop participants walk away with culturally relevant materials that will allow them to find funding for a 6'x8' corner of hope--at little or no cash cost. But that makes all the difference in the world.