The Southeast Fountain School District community has come together to begin the Mustang Mall.

Fountain Central Junior/Senior High School Principal Ashley Hammond said project has been a labor of love for students in the district.

“I’ve had a vision of creating some sort of “clothes closet” for all kids in our corporation for many years,” she said via email.

“I used to be part of an organization in Terre Haute that ran this sort of thing for students in the Vigo County School Corporation and had visions of doing something similar to provide for students we serve who are in need. We had a very small closet with clothes in it and Mrs. (Megan) Fishero provided kids with it as she could, but it was small and we didn’t have much variety. Mrs. Fishero also began to notice many of our students in need of not only clothes, but hygiene products, shoes, and other necessities. With the support of many people within the community, including board members sharing flyers of items in need, to community members hosting a basketball shootout fundraiser, community donations, and we even had someone make clothing racks for us from scratch. It truly has been a community effort to help provide the resources our students need.

“As we began to receive all of the resources and support from the community in December of last year, we had a classroom that was not being used at the time and I reached out to Mr. (Ryan) Hall and Mrs. (Emily) Peterson to discuss my “vision” of turning the room into a clothes closet for students to get any clothing or hygiene items they needed.”

Hammond said the students have also taken on some roles so that the project could be finalized.

“Mr. Hall and Mrs. Peterson have had multiple special education classes of students learning adult roles and responsibilities, as well as vocational job/work tasks. This was the perfect “project” for our students, as not only did they learn many adult roles and work tasks, but in turn they also learned even more important lessons such as working together and helping others. The class also named it the “Mustang Mall” and I thought that was perfect!

“Mr. Hall and Mrs. Peterson literally took the vision and ran with it. I cannot tell you the countless hours they have spent with and without their classes to put this “mall” together. They have put together clothing racks, gone through clothes galore, sorted, labeled, organized, cleaned, and much more. I had a vision, but the credit for the Mustang Mall goes to Mr. Hall, Mrs. Peterson and their classes of students. Also, many other teachers/staff helped with folding and sorting from time to time. I am thrilled to have this to offer our students — ANY student. We have brown paper handled bags that can be used to “shop” for items of need hanging on the wall when you enter the mall.”

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