BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
LAYTON – It was the first time Taleesha Baker had taken her five children shopping for new school clothes.
It was the only way Caeleb would get clothes that weren’t from a second-hand store this year.
For 150 children attending Davis School District schools, Friday morning was a chance to get new shoes, socks, clothes and a backpack in preparation for the start of a new school year.
“Everyone loves Child Spree,” said Bryan Bowles, superintendent, before the doors opened at Kohl’s in Layton.
Child Spree is funded by the Davis Education Foundation and offers families nominated by school principals a chance to apply for a free shopping spree, where $125 is spent on each child.
Volunteers accompany the children as they find age- and school-appropriate clothing that will last through the winter.
“We are so thrilled so many of you have come out so kids can start out on the right foot,” Jodi Lunt, foundation director, said after instructing volunteers on what to look for and what to avoid.
Kohl’s applied a 30 percent discount to items not on sale and another 20 percent discount to the entire order, which is also tax-free.
Bowles would love to see the program expand and help more children in the district so that all children “start school at the same place.”
After a volunteer spends time picking out clothes for each child, he or she often wonders how that child is doing all year, Bowles said.
“It’s addicting,” he added.
Jackie Poll is one who has come back to help children shop for several years.
“They’re excited,” she said. “The last couple of years they’ve been so grateful. They just can’t believe you’d do that. It’s very humbling, it makes me cry.”
Caeleb’s mother hoped her son’s shopping companion would select things that matched since she didn’t have a lot of confidence in her son’s sense of color.
“It is greatly appreciated,” she said of the donation. “My husband lost his job one year ago ... my son outgrows everything really fast.”