2015-09-17 / Around Town

'Buckets of Self-Esteem' for Boys & Girls Club Campers


Brittany Howard of Old Navy completes the purchases of club members Eralsie and Meriyen. (Photos by Jack Kelly) Brittany Howard of Old Navy completes the purchases of club members Eralsie and Meriyen. (Photos by Jack Kelly) As anyone who has ever spent weeks anticipating the first day of school knows—and that includes just about everyone, from kindergarteners to freshmen in college—there is nothing more important than stepping out on that first day feeling good about yourself.

For the second year in a row, a group of boys and girls from the Boys & Girls Club of Newport, selected at random, had the opportunity to boost their back-to-school mojo on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Old Navy store on Connell Highway. Forty children were able to spend time selecting three outfits each.

The day demonstrated the ripple effect of the success of a similar effort last year, which began as the brainchild of one woman who found support and unexpected generosity from her friends, who donated enough money to give 30 children $150 each to spend at Old Navy and Famous Footwear.


Natalie checks the new shoes of daughter Jalixa, 6, to ensure a proper fit with a little room for growth. Natalie checks the new shoes of daughter Jalixa, 6, to ensure a proper fit with a little room for growth. Rochelle Ohrstrom, a New York-based novelist who volunteered as an art teacher at the Boys & Girls Club summer camp, came up with the idea. “September back-to-school clothes shopping was a family ritual for many of us,” Ohrstrom said last year. “New crisp clothing championed the best of ourselves, encouraging our best performance, dousing us with buckets of self-esteem.” She felt the young students she had gotten to know over the summer deserved the same happy experience that she remembered.

This year, the sentiments and the plan remained the same. “We wanted to make sure kids could go back to school with confidence,” said Debbie Bailey of the Boys & Girls Club.



Alixon helps his son, AJ, 8, pick out new shirts. Alixon helps his son, AJ, 8, pick out new shirts.

Return to top