Thanks to a New Program, Washing Machines Are Boosting School Attendance Around the Country
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
The first day of school can be nerve-racking no matter how old you are.
Most people show up with brand new school supplies, fresh shoes, and an outfit worth bragging about. However for some kids, it is quite the opposite. Too many kids are homeless and have to decide where to spend their last dollars. Simply having a clean outfit on the first day of school easily takes priority over having a brand new outfit for some underprivileged children.
According to Upworthy, students miss about 10 percent or more of the school year because they do not have clean clothes and are too embarrassed to go to school.
“People don’t talk about not having clean clothes because it makes you want to cry or go home or run away or something,” an eighth-grader named Logan shared. “It doesn’t feel good.”
Thanks to a new initiative with Whirlpool, schools are now making student cleanliness a top concern. In a new program called Care Counts, Whirlpool is putting washing machines in 17 different schools around the country that have students with low-income and at-risk homes.
The program allows the students to wash their clothes for free, allowing them to feel more comfortable coming to school knowing they have clean clothes.
“Some schools reported a noticeable difference in attendance within one month,” shared Upworthy.
In the program’s first year, “students received an average 50 loads of laundry each, and 93% of them increased their attendance rates,” explained Upworthy. Even the students who were at risk of dropping out had an increase in attendance. Their attendance increased by 2 weeks of time in the classroom.
“This program has made a difference,” principal Martha Lacy of David Weir Preparatory Academy, a K-8 public school east of San Francisco, told Today. “And if we can make a positive difference with even one student, it’s worth it.”
This coming school year, Whirlpool will more than double their Care Counts program. Check out the video below for more information on the program.