PRESS RELEASE: November 27, 2023
Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Superintendent Michael J. Martirano Ed.D. announced an initiative in collaboration with Bright Minds Foundation to donate socks to Howard County children and families in need. The announcement was part of Bright Minds Foundation’s Breakfast with the Superintendent event held at The Meeting House in Columbia, MD, on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The initiative, called the Martirano Super Sock Drive, will be managed by Bright Minds Foundation, which will collect new socks and monetary donations and work alongside HCPSS staff and community organizations to distribute the socks to those who need them. New socks are among the most sought-after items in homeless shelters and Dr. Martirano, whose name has become synonymous with his often-flashy socks, wanted to launch this effort to help students receive this essential item needed to thrive in and out of the classroom.
Dr. Martirano donated $4,000 to launch the campaign after recently receiving the prestigious Tom Cookerly Exceptional School Superintendent Leadership Award from the National Center for Children and Families. Dahlia Levin, Director of Development and External Affairs, and Jermaine Lemons, Program Director for the National Center for Children and Families, were present to award the $4,000 donation to BMF on Dr. Martirano’s behalf.
“Thank you so much to the National Center for Children and Families and Bright Minds Foundation for helping make this happen. This is a need for many of our students that too often gets overlooked,” said Dr. Martirano. “I know from many years serving in schools with high poverty rates that new and proper socks are a necessity for many students. With approximately 30% of Howard County students living in poverty, a lack of socks and other proper clothing is a consideration for some students in determining whether they attend school or not. Socks should never be the reason a child doesn’t attend school, nor should they endure cold and uncomfortable feet throughout their day.”
“Bright Minds is committed to working with our community to make sure every child has the support, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive,” said Bright Minds Executive Director Jennifer Van Kirk. “We are delighted to be a part of this initiative that will make a difference in the lives of children with the greatest needs in our community. This is a fitting legacy of Dr. Martirano’s dedicated service at HCPSS and partnership with the public schools education foundation.”
More information and how to donate to the Martirano Super Sock Drive may be found on the Bright Minds Foundation website.