Muscatine middle school students will soon have access to basic necessities that they otherwise may not be able to afford.
Alison Anson began the Muskie Locker after placing a few hotel shampoos outside of her classroom. She was amazed at how quickly the bottles disappeared. Since that time, the Locker has grown to include hygiene essentials, school supplies, and even clothes. All of these items are available to students at no charge, and with no questions asked.
Muscatine resident and parent Rebecca Paulsen is working with staff at Central and West Middle Schools to emulate the Locker.
At a recent meeting, Anson and Paulsen sat down with CMS counselor Troy Kulland, CMS at-risk teacher Emily Mrosko, and WMS counselor Theresa White. The group discussed ways to implement the program in a practical way at the middle school level.
The middle school Muskie lockers will stock hygiene essentials such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene products, and even laundry soap.
Anson has found a need for school supplies as well, including paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, calculators, and colored pencils.
In addition to these items, a need has been discovered for clothing items, including socks, underwear, T-shirts and pants.
Paulsen is working to find local businesses that are able to serve as drop-off locations for these items. The middle schools will begin collecting and organizing donations, with the lockers anticipated to be open after spring break.
Parents and residents wishing to donate may do so by taking donations to the guidance office of either school.
To follow the progress of the Muskie Locker (all three of them) and be updated on current needs that may arise, a Facebook page is available by searching “Muskie Locker.” All three lockers will use the same page to help coordinate efforts.
For information on the existing Locker, contact Alison Anson at the Muscatine High School at (563) 263-6141. For information on the two new middle school lockers, or for more details on donating, contact Rebecca Paulsen at RebeccaJPaulsen@gmail.com.