The theme for Edith L. Frierson Elementary School’s Family Literacy Night earlier this week was “Giant Steps to Change the World.” So maybe it was appropriate that an act of generosity, the donation of shoes, accompanied this year’s event.
A non-profit organization, Save the Children, teams up with the shoe company TOMS to donate shoes at no cost to students in rural communities across the United States and around the world. After a successful campaign in the Midlands of South Carolina, Save the Children provided 200 pairs of shoes to Frierson.
Principal Dr. Deborah Davis-Fickling began the literacy night program by reading the book Giant Steps to Change the World (written by award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee) to the scholars and their families. Following the read-aloud session, families moved through a series of literacy-based stations. The staff, working with the school’s literacy coach, Erica McCarty, created engaging activities for the children and their parents. Then, at the final station, the students received a pair of TOMS shoes.
Considering the time of the year, and that it was “Giving Tuesday” around the nation, this event and moment had extra meaning for the Frierson school community. The staff was able to store plenty of extra shoes (there are 121 students that attend Frierson); they will be able to provide new pairs to students who outgrow first ones during the school year, or give them to new students who arrive throughout the school year.
“It is my personal mantra that to whom much is given, much is required,” explained Dr. Davis-Fickling. “I believe that if we give our children what they need they will work for the things they want. This is yet another blessing that fulfills a need.”