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This educator didn't punish troublesome kids. She gave them a closet full of stuff. (


This time last year, the top three most misbehaved boys at Equette Jones' elementary school were from the same family.

As assistant principal, it fell to Jones to figure out how to solve the problem. Other educators might prescribe detentions, suspensions, extra tutoring help, or even a doctor’s appointment to be evaluated for an attention-deficit issue. But Jones sensed that the problem ran deeper — and she had a solution.

That's why Jones' school worked with an organization called First Book to install a "Care Closet" - a supply of basic essentials for kids in need.

The Care Closet project gives kids what they need to succeed. But they're not handouts - they're hand-ups.

"You need to give Ms. Jones back some time," she says. Parents are asked to come into school and be engaged - either through volunteering or through coaching sessions that help the parents deal with some of the pressing problems in their families' lives.

Care Closet with First Book

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  • Care Closet with First Book

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