13-Year-Old Creates School Closet for Fellow Students

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. underprivileged / ˈʌn dərˈprɪv ə lɪdʒd / (adj) – not having enough money, possessions, or opportunities

    Most of the students who receive scholarships come from underprivileged families.

  2. up for grabs / ʌp fɔr græbs / (idiom) – unclaimed and available for anyone to take

    Hurry! There are still free concert tickets up for grabs.

  3. apparel / əˈpær əl / (n) – clothing

    The garage sale sold apparel like shirts and pants.

  4. assortment / əˈsɔrt mənt / (n) – a group or collection of various things

    Martha enjoyed shopping in the thrift store because it sold an assortment of clothes, shoes, and bags.

  5. insecurity / ˌɪn sɪˈkyʊər ɪ ti / (n) – a quality characterized by low self-confidence

    I finally have a positive self-image because I learned to let go of my insecurities.


Read the text below.

A 13-year-old student established a school closet to provide underprivileged classmates with clothes and supplies.

Chase Neyland-Square from Port Allen Middle School created PAM’s Pantry, a closet located at the back of a stage in the school gym. The closet features a variety of donated clothing items, such as coats, sweatshirts, and shoes, which are all up for grabs.

Neyland-Square gathers the donations and organizes the closet before his teachers distribute the items to students from low-income families who cannot afford nice apparel. Apart from clothes, PAM’s Pantry also has an assortment of school supplies and hygiene products.

According to Neyland-Square, he created PAM’s Pantry to express his appreciation for the things that he has been blessed with. The eighth-grader observed that some of his schoolmates lack confidence because of the clothes they wear, and he wanted to help them overcome their insecurities.

Neyland-Square said that PAM’s Pantry inspired him to pursue his passion for making a difference. He hopes to continue working on the project and turn it into a non-profit organization in the future.

PAM’s Pantry was conceived through Port Allen Middle School’s Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge (SPARK). The summer program, launched by the school principal, serves as a venue that gives students an opportunity to come up with projects that can improve the school and the community. The program also aims to turn students into young leaders.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think a project like PAM’s Pantry is the best way to help underprivileged children? Why or why not?
• If you were asked to come up with a project for SPARK, what would it be? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Why is it important to boost children’s self-confidence?
• In your opinion, what is the best way to boost children’s self-confidence? Discuss.