Clean Jeans

Laundry Machines Boost School Attendance




Jessie Eldora Robertson/Shutterstock.com

Kids in middle schools with attendance problems may simply lack clean clothes to wear. An experiment by the Whirlpool company has taken on the issue with significant results.

The Whirlpool Care Counts Program donated 17 pairs of washers and dryers to school districts in St. Louis and Fairfield, California. Kids with attendance problems were asked to bring their laundry to be cleaned while they were in class. Each student had approximately 50 loads of laundry done at school during the year, and more than 90 percent increased their attendance, with at-risk students attending almost two more weeks in class. Whirlpool is now expanding the program.

Compared to factors such as economic opportunity, unemployment and institutional racism, laundry might seem inconsequential, but for a 10-year-old facing stacked odds, having nothing clean to wear could be the deciding factor in whether or not they want to face their classmates that day.

Seventh-grade teacher Alison Guernsey, in Fairfield, says, “One of my students had more or less withdrawn from school completely. After we started the program, he was more excited about coming and started to actively engage in class. He didn’t feel like an outsider anymore.”


This article appears in the March 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Junior Achievement

On April 26, more than 3.5 million American workplaces will open to their doors to their employees’ children for memory-making experiences sure to last a lifetime.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zen Shiatsu Training

Business Spotlight
Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September.

Transformation Through the Art of Breema

An upcoming weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Movement from April 20 to 22 will provide a fulfilling entry into Breema’s philosophy, self-care exercises and bodywork.

Tour Green Homes at Green House Festival in Brookline

Mothers Out Front has organized a green home tour from noon to 3 p.m. on April 8, in Brookline.

Sleeping Better Naturally

Business Spotlight
At The Organic Mattress, a family-owned specialty sleep store, people will find mattresses made from natural and organic ingredients, including organic cotton, wool and natural latex made from the sap of rubber trees.

Rising Seas Threaten Boston

The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) is standing up to protect Commonwealth small business communities against imminent danger.

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.