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Clement nurtures whole child with community help

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 5, 2019) -- Similar to their colleagues throughout the City School District of Albany, staff and community partners at the Tony Clement Center for Education strive to not only support students academically, but also socially and emotionally.

That means, often, going above and beyond and working to ensure all students have food at home, clothes and even toiletries. And in response to that need, the idea for Tony's Closet was born.

Tony’s Closet is a small and discrete room where students can pick out clothes, outerwear, undergarments, shoes, toiletries and feminine products, all for free. Its creators - Tony Clement's widow Jennifer Clement, members of the Clement family and Clement family friends - understand the direct correlation between going without necessities and the impact that has on a student’s ability to learn and make good choices.

 “Being a teen is difficult enough,” said Clement Community School Site Coordinator Tyesha Young. “Combine that with the trauma and poverty that some students experience and there is no way we can expect them to focus on school and responsible behavior.

“We want to be the support our students require to succeed.”

Tony’s Closet is stocked, primarily, thanks to generous community members but replacements are always needed. If you’d like to contribute – financially or with new item donations – please contact Young at (518) 475-6565 or tyoung@albany.k12.ny.us.

Tony’s Pantry is the building’s new food bank. While the district provides free breakfast and lunch daily for all students, the goal of Tony’s Pantry is to ensure that students and their families don’t have to worry about meals in the evening or during weekends and breaks.

“Every day, we greet our students with the intention of empowering them to feel valued, capable, resilient, believed in and not alone,” said Alexandra Boswell, an English language arts teacher at Clement.

“But if they are hungry, we are ultimately disregarding their most basic needs.”

Clement has established a GoFundMe account to support Tony’s Pantry. To contribute, please follow this link.

“The commitment of the Clement faculty and staff is incredibly impressive and I am proud to be a part of a family who nurtures the whole child,” added William Rivers, Tony Clement Center for Education Principal.

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves approximately 9,500 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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