The gymnasium at Bayles Elementary School in East Dallas was turned into a shoe store Wednesday morning. All 417 students received a pair of free Nike shoes.
“I remember being in their shoes,” WNBA star Isabelle “Izzy” Harrison said. “I think shoes are important, and when you feel good, you’re going to play well, you’re going to be good with your friends.”
Harrison helped students find the right fit and pair.
The boxes of new shoes were donated by Nordstrom and Suitable shoes non-profit.
“It boosts their confidence and self-esteem. It helps them participate energetically in school,” said Fanya Chandler, senior vice president and regional manager at Nordstrom. “One in five children live in poverty in the United States. We think Shoes That Fit is a great organization to partner with to fight this and change this for our communities.”
At Bayles Elementary, 99% of the student body is of lower socioeconomic status.
“So…they can get new shoes, but not the quality of a Nike shoe,” Principal Gloria Kennedy said. “It does a lot for their soul, their spirit, their self-esteem. It’s important to them, as we think about their mental health, that they think ‘I’m important here’.”
“It makes me feel good,” said Rosalia Escamilla, a 5th grader, as she and her friends imagined where new shoes would take them.
“Like, also being a basketball player or a football player,” said 5th grader Khamora-Hall Walker. “I want to be a dancer.”
“A pair of shoes can take you anywhere; all the places you can go,” Kennedy said. “Being a leader, being a great citizen, being a great scholar; those are all things shoes help you get into.”
To find out how to donate to Nordstrom/Shoes That Fit, Click here.