Area Learning Center wants your shoes

Published 9:20 am Monday, April 25, 2011

The Area Learning Center on Tuesday kicks off a quest to gather 1,000 pairs of used sneakers to raise funds for teaching students by nontraditional means.

“Each pair of tennis shoes we collect turns into money for the Area Learning Center,” said Area Learning Center Prinicipal Eric Van Brocklin. “We hope to collect 1,000 pairs of used tennis shoes, which translates into $1,000 for programs for our kids.”

She said the ALC intends to use the funds it raises to pay for outdoors learning experiences. The drive will last for two weeks.

Email newsletter signup

According to a press release, shoes must be gently used, though they may contain holes no larger than a dime, must have the soles and backs intact, and must include the laces.

Students will canvass neighborhoods posting door hangers with information about the drive.

“The kids provide residents with an informational flier at their home one week and then come back the following week to pick up the shoes,” said ALC science teacher Joan Anderson.

The ALC contacted a group called Green Sneakers, which makes the program available to organizations needing to raise funds for various causes. Green Sneakers pays the group up to 50 cents a pound for the shoes. With an average pair of shoes weighing about 2 pounds, that’s roughly $1 a pair.

Eventually the shoes go to a sorting facility where Green Sneakers staff process the collection, keeping them from the local landfill, and making them ready for distribution to other people in need.

Local business partners have come on board to help move the effort along, and the ALC encourages people not at home during the drive to drop their used shoes at Brookside Education Center during regular school hours.

Anderson said she can be reached at 507-379-5184 or 373-7098.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

email author More by Tim