Dressing for school can be expensive, especially for soon-to-be teachers interning in classrooms throughout Central Florida.

Students enrolled in the University of Central Florida’s College of Education take on the role of a full-time teacher for a semester, spending five days a week at their assigned schools doing everything from grading papers to giving lessons.

The internship and other school responsibilities can often force students to cut back hours at other jobs, making it difficult to purchase the professional attire they need for the classroom.

That’s why the UCF College of Education created Educational Outfitters. It is a place where UCF education students can acquire appropriate clothing without breaking the bank. The clothing is free, but students are asked to donate canned food, which will then be donated to Orange County Public Schools.

“I believe Educational Outfitters will be beneficial to all students,” said Ashley Smith, a third-year elementary education student. “Even if you work a lot, it can be hard to balance buying new professional attire with the other costs of living.”

The program launches with a fashion show at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, in the lobby of the Teaching Academy.

It will feature students and professors modeling the appropriate professional dress for teachers in various settings, from the job interview to classroom attire for elementary, middle and high school. Immediately following the fashion show students will be able to browse the available clothing in the Educational Outfitters closet located in room 103 of the Teaching Academy.

“The College of Education has really hardworking students who are about to get started in their first classrooms,” said Megan Allen, one of the founders of Educational Outfitters. “Being able to get professional clothing without worrying about the cost will help them feel more comfortable as they take those first steps.”

Allen and colleague Ingrid Cumming developed the program together. Both are College of Education educators in residence, or public school teachers who work at the university for one year to bridge the gap between UCF and public school classrooms.

They reached out to faculty, schools and businesses in Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa for clothing donations for men and women. Educational Outfitters is also working with Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that provides professional clothing and career development resources for women.

For more information about this program, check out the Educational Outfitters Facebook page.