A surprising number of children across the US come to school each day without ready access to clean clothes. One school in particular in Fairfield, California noticed striking attendance problems that seemed to be due to this. Whirlpool introduced its “Care Counts” program in that area, to great effect.
Whirlpool donated seventeen pairs of washer and dryers to school districts in St. Louis and Fairfield, which allowed those schools to invite kids to bring their clothes in to wash. What kind of difference did that make?
Of the students participating in the program, 90% of them increased their attendance. Of the at-risk kids that included, they averaged two additional weeks each of class time.
Because of the success of the program, Whirlpool says it plans to continue donations to twenty more schools in five districts. After conducting their own study, Whirlpool found that one in five kids across America has trouble finding clean clothes to wear to school each day. That’s a pretty staggering number, and is another one of those seemingly small problems that makes a much bigger difference than we might think at first.
Kids were able to focus better while in class, and didn’t feel like they needed to miss a day here or there because they had nothing to wear. Those challenges add up, and are a critical piece of maintaining the kind of positive attitude needed to succeed. Solving challenges of the modern school kid is a matter of scoring a series of small wins. No one action is going to fix everything, but each challenge the community removes is another hurdle gone. When we do that enough times, the effects are profound.
Thanks to Whirlpool for getting involved! Let’s see if we can get more companies involved in helping schools better educate our future!