Every day, over 4,000 kids will drop out of school. It is all too easy to label these kids as “bad,” as “stupid,” as “lazy,” but all too often there are problems at home brewing beneath the surface that make children and teens feel unworthy.
Whirlpool created a program called “Care Counts” that left even teachers skeptical. The company put a washing machine and dryer inside of a public school. Each week, students would bring in their dirty laundry, and one of the teachers would wash and dry them. That’s all it was: clean clothes.
No one thought it would make a difference… until it did.
Many teachers like Alison Guernsey didn’t realize that the reason why their kids weren’t showing up is because they didn’t have clean clothes. One student had a washer and dryer, but her family couldn’t afford electricity. Another student was homeless. Some even began to disappear altogether.
“One of my students had just sort of withdrawn from school completely,” Guernsey recalls. “After we started the program, he was more excited about coming, and he started to be actively engaged in class. He didn’t feel like an outsider anymore.”
After the washer and dryer were installed, attendance soared over 90 percent, and class participation was up 89 percent. These students weren’t just showing up, they were showing up ready to learn!
Another student completely changed, according to Guernsey. “Before, she would hardly speak in class. She was very quiet and didn’t have many friends. She’s blossomed now — she came into her own.”
Amazing. Something so simple changed dozens of students’ lives.
Please SHARE if you think this service should be provided in more schools around the country!