Assistance League Organization Gives School Uniforms to 3992 Students

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Nonprofit Assists 39 Elementary Schools in San Jose

San Jose, California – The Assistance League of San Jose is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization whose signature philanthropic project provided school uniforms to 3992 students from families who might have found it difficult to purchase uniforms for their children this school year. Data shows that students tend to achieve at higher levels if they feel they are part of the school community instead of visually apart from it due to lack of a school uniform. The program is known as Operation School Bell (OSB) and has been in effect for 25 years.

Operation School Bell is an all-inclusive philanthropic program that begins with the soliciting of funds in the form of grants for the purchase of the school uniforms, contracting with a company who can provide the uniforms, sorting the uniforms by colors and sizes once they arrive, packaging the uniforms for distribution, visiting the schools at the beginning of the school year to measure the students for a good uniform fit, and finally delivering the uniforms to the schools.

Councilman Raul Peralez, of District 3, who joined ALSJ volunteers at Olinder Elementary School, noted that, “Many Olinder students were affected by the flooding in February, half of the school community was under water. One of the reoccurring concerns we heard from parents during the cleanup effort was the need for new school uniforms to replace those that were lost in the Coyote Creek Flood”.

Councilman Peralez authorized District 3 to allocate $1500 toward the cost of new uniforms at Selma Olinder Elementary School, a school in District 3.

“All students appear to be more engaged and ready to learn when they come to school in a school uniform,” stated Maria Chichizola, student support counselor at Grant Elementary School. “They are also less likely to feel self-conscious about their clothes or to be teased about their dress.”

The school districts, which are recipients of the school uniforms, are San Jose Unified, Alum Rock Union Elementary District, and Franklin McKinley School District.

ALSJ depends entirely on grants and donations to purchase the school uniforms. Major contributors to the OSB program include: San Jose Sharks Foundation, George and Jeanette Stuart Family Trust, SanDisk Foundation, Western Digital Foundation, First Days of School Foundation, Deborah and Henry Pao Foundation, William Cilker Family Foundation, JX Foundation, San Jose Council members Johnny Khamis, Magdalena Carrasco, Ash Kalra, and Raul Peralez.