Community partners assist new families |

Community partners assist new families

Courtesy photo/Sierra SunA group of Sierra Teen Education and Parent Program clients stand with staff from the Treasure Chest and the KidZone. The young student-mothers received backpacks filled with baby clothing and supplies.

Standing in the October sun outside a Truckee thrift shop, several young moms and tried on new backpacks while cradling their babies.

Each backpack was crammed with clothing and supplies the new mothers would need in the coming weeks.

The dozen high school mothers were the beneficiaries of a partnership to assist young families between the Treasure Chest, a Truckee thrift store affiliated with the nonprofit KidZone Museum, and the local school district.

Staff at the Treasure Chest teamed up with the Sierra Teen Education and Parent Program to provide baby supplies earlier this month to a group of young mothers.

“What [the Treasure Chest] did for my students is more than just backpacks but, they provided a welcoming space,” said Cindy Maciel, a program manager of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s teen education program.

Not only did they receive new packs filled with baby-care supplies and clothing, but the young mothers also accepted discount cards good for a 10-percent price cut on anything on the Treasure Chest’s shelves. The women were later also given annual free passes to the KidZone museum.

“This is a good way to keep them engaged in the community,” said KidZone board President Lisa Petrucci.

Petrucci, also the Treasure Chest’s co-chair, explained that the second-hand shop helps provide KidZone the funds to keep the children’s center open, while supplying an outlet for inexpensive quality clothing and gear. She said selling used goods is also a way to help the environment.

“As of spring, we recycled 100,000 items back into the community,” Petrucci said.

The Sierra Teen Education and Parent Program began in 1998 with a grant from the California Department of Education, according to Maciel. The youth program continues to operate with four full-time employees through funds from the state’s education department, the Soroptimist International of Truckee-Donner and the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

“Our goal is to help students achieve graduation from high school and receive life and parenting skills,” Maciel said.

All the women who received the gifts are local high school students within the district.

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