Allen Kinard is a school administrator presently at M.S. 126. He is on a consistent quest to find ways to inspire and motivate the students in his school toward academic and leadership excellence. One such idea of his that has taken off is Sneakers 4 Scholars, an initiative he started ten years ago when he was at P.S. 257.
But Kinard couldn’t do this alone; he needed someone to supply the sneakers. Enter Tom Dick & Harry shoe store (709 Broadway). This establishment is a family business started in 1940 and is currently managed by the third-generation owner, Tony Alesi, grandson of the original owner. The generous Alesi offers the monthly winners their choice of a pair of sneakers.
The M.S. 126 winners for December were: eighth grader Clarissa Sanchez (winner for peer leadership), eighth grader Rubi Santos (winner for academic improvement), and sixth grader Jayden Jaipaulsingh (winner for academic achievement). Since this program began there has been a noticeable decrease in behavioral problems, negative incidents, and even suspensions. In addition the schools have seen improvement in different academic areas as well as in school culture.