TOP Closet, Community Closet West offer resources for community, back to school clothes

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Photo CJUSD: Kathleen Moreno, Community Liaison, Karla Viramontes (center), Student Services Supervisor and District Homeless/Foster Liaison, Esperanza Mora, Community Liaison work in the TOP Closet Clothing Resource Center to get ready for the new school year. The District has two clothing resource centers: The TOP Closet on the Colton High School Campus and Community Closet West on the Ruth O.Harris Middle School campus. Both offer free clothing and shoes for families and are open monthly Special back to school hours have been set for both centers.
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For the past 4 years, the TOP Closet and Community Closet West clothing resource centers have offered clothing, shoes, jackets, and even some school supplies, books, and toys for students in need in the Colton Joint Unified School District.

The CJUSD Student Services team coordinates this effort and they are now getting ready for the new school year with special  “Back to School” dates. TOP Closet, located in Room 558 on the Colton High School campus, will be open Tuesday, July 30 from 9 AM to Noon and Community Closet West, located in Room 911 at Ruth O. Harris Middle School, will be open from 9 AM – Noon on Thursday, Aug. 1. The resource centers also will be open monthly throughout the year (see schedule below).

The clothing resource centers offer families an opportunity to shop in a store-like atmosphere where they may choose from a wide variety of items. Each family is able to choose two outfits per child. Clothing featured in the centers has been generously donated by CJUSD staff and members of the community. Donated items are then laundered by students in the Special Education Department’s Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP) for adult special needs students aged 18-22  at Colton High School. The Community Closet West at ROHMS is maintained by CJUSD Community Liaisons and the students and staff with the ROHMS Special Education program.

“The resource centers are a great opportunity for our families to expand their children’s wardrobes,” stated Karla Viramontes, Student Services Supervisor and District Homeless/Foster Liaison. “Clothing is a basic need for all and finding nice pieces of clothing your child can use at no cost is a great convenience available to all of our families.”

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The resource centers are now at capacity with adult sized clothing and toddler/infant clothing. There is a need for children and youth sized clothing (Sizes 4-16). Donations of youth-sized clothing only is being accepted at the District’s Hermosa Center, 325 Hermosa Ave. in Colton.

The resource centers have been so popular that the CJUSD Student Services team has begun working with other departments to bring even more offerings. A Prom Dress Shoppe was added last spring to provide dresses to students in need of formal wear for prom or other special occasions. And, a Career Ready Closet is being assembled at the CJUSD Adult School for adult and high school students preparing for job interviews.

“Every child should feel confident and comfortable at school,” Viramontes said. “Clothing should be the last of their concerns. The District and our community come together with generous donations to ensure our Clothing Closets are always stocked and ready to serve our kids.”

Below is the 2019-20 schedule for TOP Closet and Community Closet West:

TOP Closet – Room 558, Colton High School (Please enter off Dortha Cooley Lane due to construction)

Hours:

July 30            9 AM-Noon

August 28       2:45-4 PM

September 4    2:45-4 PM

October 2        2:45-4 PM

November 6    2:45-4 PM

December 4     2:45-4 PM

January 8        2:45-4 PM

February 5      2:45-4 PM

March 4          2:45- 4 PM

April 1            2:45- 4 PM

May 13           2:45-4 PM

June 3            2:00-4:00 PM

Community Closet West – Room 911 on the Ruth O. Harris Middle School Campus

August 1         9 AM – Noon

August 21       1:45-4PM

September 11  1:45-4PM

October 9        1:45 – 4PM

November 13  1:45-4PM

December 11   1:45-4 PM

January 22      1:45-4 PM

February 12    1:45-4PM

March 11        1:45-4PM

April 8            1:45-4PM

May 20           1:45-4PM

June 10            1:30-4PM

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