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Teacher Clothes Closet Returns to Lander

Lander University freshman Madelynn Hutson, an early childhood education major from Barnwell, does some shopping at the PSTA Teacher Clothes Closet. Photo by Laura B. Wood

When it comes time for student teaching or job interviews, education students often find that they don’t have the clothes they need to look professional. That’s where teacher clothes closets come in.

Last year, the Palmetto State Teachers Association (PSTA) offered 16 of them. Two were at Lander University, in the spring and the fall. On Monday, Feb. 27, the PSTA was at Lander again.

“We go from the coast to the midlands to the upstate, and everywhere in between,” said Craig King, director of Teacher Leadership for PSTA.

“Very generous donors” make events like this possible. Although the clothes that the PSTA provides have been previously used, “we don’t put out anything that we wouldn’t wear ourselves,” he said.

Shoppers aren’t limited in any way. If they leave with a week’s worth of clothes, that’s fine.

King considered the event held at Lander to be a success.

“It’s been a steady stream since we opened. I would say a minimum of 70 students have been through here. Some who are student teaching are probably on their way now. That’s one reason why we’re staying open till five.”

King said that he travels “quite a bit, doing professional development and planning events for teachers, but this is probably one of my favorite events to do.”

He was asked if he is motivated by the wish to increase the pool of teachers in the state.

“Absolutely,” he said.