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Last year, RISE students were able to collect socks in person. This year, they will host a drive-through drop-off event instead.

As October comes to a close, it is time for the third annual SOCKtober sock drive. Students in the RISE (Reaching Independence through Structured Education) class at Union Ridge Elementary School are holding a sock drive for the Ridgefield Family Resource Center and the community can help. 

SOCKtober is a national movement to let kids help others in a tangible way. According to a news release, homeless shelters and aid agencies across the country are seeing huge increases in need due to COVID-19 and as winter approaches, socks are one of the most requested and least donated items. The Ridgefield SOCKtober drive allows RISE students — who are on the autism spectrum or face other educational challenges — to volunteer in their community. 

In previous years, RISE students went class to class through the school and pulled a wagon to collect donations. This year, due to the pandemic, students will make it safe and easy for community members to donate by holding two separate drive-through drop-off events throughout the month in the Union Ridge Elementary School parking lot at 330 N. Fifth Ave., Ridgefield. The first, took place Friday, Oct. 23 from noon to 5 p.m. and the second was set for Tuesday, Oct. 27, from noon to 5 p.m. Ridgefield Raptors mascot Rally the Raptor kickstarted the event from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. on Friday. 

Teacher Stephanie Brown’s students work together to operate every aspect of the donation drive. The students make and color posters to promote the event. Students also sort socks to graph and track how many are collected. The drive also serves as an opportunity for students to learn about empathy and poverty as part of their social and emotional learning. Using the SOCKtober drive across multiple subjects helps reinforce their learning in a hands-on and interesting way. 

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RISE students drew and colored the poster to promote their SOCKtober sock donation drive.

Each year, students collect hundreds of socks for area agencies and their collections are supplemented with a grant from “Bombas,” a sock company that donates one pair of socks for every pair purchased. Last year, Brown received 1,000 pairs of socks from Bombas and the RISE class has been approved for another grant this year. 

The press release said Brown is proud of her students and how hard they work to make the SOCKtober event successful. Brown’s students are happy to have a fun and easy way to help others and Brown is glad to show them that anybody can make a positive difference in the community. 

If you’re interested in helping the RISE class with their effort, stop by Union Ridge Elementary School on Tuesday to drop off socks. 

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