All 450 students at John B. Wright Elementary in the Garden District received a new pair of athletic shoes.

A non-profit called Shoes That Fit organized the surprise giveaway, with funding coming from Geico.

Organizers say many families cant afford to buy their children new shoes and that can hurt their social and academic progress in school. But a new pair of shoes can make a huge difference.

You know it really helps with their self-confidence and their self-esteem, and then also physical activity, said Janet Lang, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships with Shoes That Fit. They cant participate in sports if theyre not wearing proper shoes. So youre really helping the whole child.

Shoes That Fit travels to schools around the country. Theyve served more than 100,000 kids in the last year.