Denver school opens clothing store, laundromat, food pantry for students and their families

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DENVER — New resources are on the way for students and their families as Wyatt Academy in Denver’s Cole neighborhood. For more than a year, leaders at the school have worked to open a center not just for students, but their families as well.

On Friday, parents will have access to a washer, dryer, clothes and much more.

Wyatt Academy is opening what it calls the Family Empowerment Center. It features a clothing boutique with sizes for babies all the way up to adults. There are also shoes and accessories.

“This has been a dream of ours for a long time,” Kate Mishara with Wyatt Academy said.

The center was needed at Wyatt Academy. Currently, 96 percent of the students at Wyatt are on free and reduced lunch, and the students say a resource like this will be a big help.

“Sometimes, people can’t afford clothes and it helps me because I can’t afford clothes a lot too,” one student said.

The center doesn’t stop at clothes. There is a food pantry with all organic options, a computer lab already up and running with WiFi and free access to a washer and dryer.

“In the place I live we do not have a washer and dryer inside our home, so we do go to the laundromat every couple of weeks sometimes that’s straining financially and just getting there is hard,” said Melody Means, a parent and teacher at Wyatt.

The goal is to have the center open on most Fridays.

“In order for our students to arrive every day at school happy and ready to learn and ready to thrive, it is our duty to really ensure that their basic needs are met. And a huge part of that is meeting the basic needs of their families,” Mishara said.

The only way the center can sustain itself is through donations. The school is always looking for more. It is located at East 36th Avenue and Franklin Street.

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