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TUSD students get new shoes, thanks to EEF and Bookmans

A fourth grader named Anthony beamed as he finished tying his brand new black Airwalk shoes. His younger brother, Curtis, had picked out the same kind. Both boys, students at Oyama Elementary, were able to walk out of the Payless ShoeSource at I-19 and Irvington Friday, December 4th sporting the shoes thanks to the Educational Enrichment Foundation and Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.

"We know that it's so important to get these kids an even playing field so when they enter the classroom, they're prepared to learn," explained EEF executive director Pam Francis. "Sometimes that's as easy as a new pair of shoes."

The students, which ranged all ages from kindergarten to high school, also were able to pick out three pairs of socks, a book and a cookie. The cookies were courtesy of Eegee's and the books were donated by Bookman's.

"Bookmans [involvement] in the EEF shoe shopping dates me, and I'm going on ten years at Bookman's," said Bookmans' marketing director Sheila Kressler Crowley. "It's just something that we feel is important as members of our community, and we love being here every year."

Francis and the EEF have set up two shoe shopping parties each year so that each side of town can benefit. Bookmans sponsored the west side event and the Rincon Optimist Club sponsored the event on the east side.

The students were specifically selected by the schools and are brought to the school by a community rep or a school employee. Francis and the EEF thoroughly look forward to the event each year, one in which she claims it's not the holidays yet until they have been to the EEF shoe shopping parties.