Kids back to school thanks to washing machines

Kids back to school thanks to washing machines

Social inclusion in cities

Dr. Melody Gunn, the former principal of Gibson Elementary in St. Louis, couldn’t figure out why student attendance was on the low side.
In talking to parents, Gunn discovered that many didn’t have easy access to washing machines. It turned out that when students didn’t have clean clothes, they often stayed home from school out of embarrassment.
Gunn reached out to the Whirlpool company to see if it could help, and it donated a washer and dryer to her school. She then invited students who had missed more than 10 days of school to bring in their clothes for laundering. Whirlpool later gave 16 more schools in districts in St. Louis and Fairfield, California, washers and dryers through a new program.
The first year saw over 90 percent of tracked students increase their attendance, with those most in need of the service averaging an increase of almost 2 weeks.
Whirlpool says it will expand the program next year to at least 20 additional schools, including one in Baltimore and one in Nashville. Over 300 schools have expressed interest in the program.

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