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Jefferson Academy clothes sale helps parents save
Parents line up to purchase gently used school uniform clothes Thursday afternoon at Jefferson Academy.

JEFFERSON — Veronica Starks found an unexpected bargain when she walked into Jefferson Academy for open house Thursday afternoon.

Besides meeting her daughter Chantella Starks’ teacher, she also found a bargain on uniform items for her rising third-grader.

"I didn’t even know they were having this, but I saw the sign and stopped in," said Starks, as she was shopping at the Dragon Yard Sale inside the school’s gym.

"This is the first school shopping that I’ve done and so far so good — this is a really good deal."

Clothing for the sale was collected by the school’s Mighty Dragons, a fifth-grade service club.

"This is the first year that we’ve done the yard sale. The fifth-grade students held a clothing drive as their service project in May (before school got out)," said Meg Davis, Jefferson Academy counselor and club adviser. "They collected the clothing with the idea that we could have a yard sale. With the current economic climate, we wanted to find a solution for parents who may be having financial problems."

Jefferson Academy, which educates third- through fifth-grade students, is the only school in the Jefferson school system that requires students to wear a uniform. Students are only allowed to wear khaki or navy bottoms. Shirts must be collared and can either be red, white or blue.

At the yard sale, parents could find most of the uniform essentials for little or nothing. Pants cost $2, as were dresses, and shorts were only $1.

"This is a wonderful idea. It’s a lot cheaper than going out to a store," said Laura Fuller, who was shopping for her son, Warner Fuller, a rising third-grader.

"I got two shirts, a sweatshirt, two pair of pants and a pair of shorts for $13."

The Mighty Dragons’ in-school clothing drive provided lots of materials for shoppers to choose from Thursday. There were 20 large plastic bins filled with various sizes of khaki pants, shorts and skirts. There were also mountains of neatly folded shirts.

"At first, buying enough uniforms to last a student a week can be expensive, but in the long run it’s cheaper for parents," Davis said. "We know that some parents just aren’t able financially, so anything that is left over after the yard sale will be used to help fill our clothes closet. We use the clothes closet to provide uniform items for students whose parents can’t afford to buy the necessary items."