DES MOINES, Iowa - Becky Victor-Baker, an 8th grade Civics teacher at McCombs Middle School, says her students are growing constantly. In fact, the jeans they're wearing in the 6th grade are likely too small for them once they're in the 8th grade.
So what do you do with old denim? Donate it to homeless youth, she says.
"This is a way for the kids to give back to the community, and not have to really use any money," she said. "Because, when they go from 6th grade to 8th grade, you see a lot of physical changes that the jeans they wore in 6th grade, aren't there for them now. Because they grow, and grow taller."
The school is taking part in a national denim drive called Jeans for Teens. The organization says it's collected over 4.3 million pairs of jeans for youth experiencing homelessness in the past seven years, and it can count on at least 300 more pair from McCombs Middle School.
"Well we have quite a big pile of 348 today. We're working toward 500 - our first goal was met with 300," she said.
Students at the school are collecting gently-used jeans through February 10th, and welcome any outside donations until then. The teen clothing store, Aeropostale, is also involved in the Jeans for Teens initiative, and will collect McCombs' donations to send to the organization. Any student who participates in the donation gets a gift card from the store, as a bonus.