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New Shoes Bring Big Smiles to Pleasant Hill Academy Students

Hundreds of Pleasant Hill Academy students may be jumping higher and sprinting faster, thanks to receiving new gym shoes and socks from Shoes 4 the Shoeless.

It’s the first time the Dayton-based nonprofit worked with Cincinnati Public Schools. In addition to providing shoes and socks, nearly 50 volunteers sized each student to ensure a proper fit.

“When a student is given a new pair of shoes, you can tell immediately that they’re excited,” Pleasant Hill Academy Assistant Principal Brandon Kingman said. “There’s a smile and there’s a new sense of pride emanating from them. It’s just a good moment to witness.”             

According to Shoes 4 the Shoeless, wearing ill-fitting shoes is a significant unmet health need. Shoes that don’t fit inhibit children’s activity, preventing them from walking or running normally, while kids without socks are cold during winter.

Executive Director and registered nurse Kris Horlacher said this is why “one of the things we need to bring, along with shoes and socks, is fun. Fun is medicine, fun is therapy, fun is essential.”

According to Kingman, removing barriers such as shoes and clothing helps boost students’ academic performance as well. Since students grow at a rapid pace throughout elementary school, he says there’s always a need.

“We are always looking for new ways to support our families and help our parents,” Kingman said. “We’re excited to have Kris and Shoes 4 the Shoeless on our campus. It’s an amazing opportunity.”       

The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library also donated books to the students.