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Lakeland Students Collect Jeans for Teens

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – For two weeks earlier this month, students at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown collected 510 pairs of jeans all for donation.

The project, as part of the "Jeans for Teens" collection was taken on by the Rachel's Challenge club at the school until Feb. 10. The idea of the project is to collect gently used jeans to be given to teens in need. The school club’s goal was to collect 500 jeans.

"It's important for teens to feel good about themselves to boost their self-esteem," said eighth-grader, Rachel Nadell. "For me, my favorite pair of jeans makes me feel great when I wear them. I would love for others to have that same feeling."

The campaign itself is sponsored by Aeropostale and DoSomething.org, which found that the one item teens in shelters desire most are jeans to feel normal in school.

Rachel's Club was started by the family of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person to be killed in the 1999 Columbine High School tragedy. A grant from the Lakeland Education Foundation helped the school bring the club to the district, which also holds activities and assemblies.

"To be involved in Teens for Jeans means the world to me," said sixth-grader Gabriella Cordone. "Just giving people the comfort and warmth they deserve – to me that tells me if we work together we can accomplish anything.  It's better to give than receive."

The Rachel's Challenge club, which has been around for three years, is run by English teacher Erin Roche.

Roche, an English teacher who runs Rachel's Challenge activities at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, said members of the club have participated in a variety of different activities each year.

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