September 22, 2006
The non-profit Assistance League and its signature program, Operation School Bell, have provided uniforms for all students at Franklin Classical Middle School this fall.
The uniform donation began in late August, and by the start of school, the Assistance League had provided enough uniforms to clothe the entire Franklin population of more than 1,000 students. Volunteers issued pants, polo shirts and sweatshirts.
Operation School Bell provides new clothing, shoes, backpacks and literacy programs, as well as health and hygiene kits to disadvantaged school children. Last year, Operation School Bell clothed more than 160,000 children nationwide.
The Long Beach chapter of Assistance League had long planned to clothe an entire student population of a local school. Franklin Middle School closed during the summer and reopened with more rigorous academic offerings this fall as Franklin Classical Middle School. The school also modified its uniform colors to white tops, khaki bottoms and navy outerwear, presenting the perfect opportunity for the Assistance League to help an entire school. Clothing the Franklin students required about 50 percent of the chapter’s budget, and their remaining budget will clothe hundreds of students at other Long Beach area schools.
Proper school clothing can improve school attendance and boost classroom performance. By providing appropriate clothing and learning materials, Operation School Bell helps children arrive in the classroom better prepared to learn. School teachers and counselors often see an immediate, positive difference in the emotional state of the children assisted by Operation School Bell.
The national Assistance League was established in the early 1900s to implement philanthropic projects. Locally, the League has been a long-time supporter of the Long Beach Unified School District’s nationally recognized school uniform effort.