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Care Count School Laundry Program Exposes Link Between Clean Clothes and Attendance

Healthy meals every day, and clean clothes – yes nutrition and clean clothes impact school attendance. Every child in America deserves safe public schools, good food, and clean clothes (and great teachers, libraries and librarians, music and art classes…) When did we stop considering this to be a right, not a Privilege? Via Care Counts (yes, sponsored by Whirlpool):

“Teachers around the country estimate that nearly one in five students struggle with access to clean clothes. This seemingly small barrier can have a significant impact on a student’s academic experience. More than half of teachers surveyed believe these students are more likely to struggle with absenteeism, a critical issue impacting an estimated five to ten million students each year. To further examine how the simple act of laundry can impact attendance rates, Whirlpool brand is introducing the Care Counts™ program, a laundry program offering students access to washers and dryers in their schools. In the first year, the program provided approximately 2,000 loads of clean clothes to students across two school districts. After examining the correlation between student attendance and loads of laundry washed and dried, over 90% of tracked students in the first year of the program improved their attendance, averaging 6.1 more days in school than the previous year. The program impacted the most at-risk participants even more, with an average of nearly two more weeks in school than the previous year. “Every single day of school matters. When students miss school, they are missing an opportunity to learn,” said Martha Lacy, principal, David Weir K-8 Academy. “Absenteeism strongly impacts a student’s academic performance. In fact, students with excessive absence rates are more likely to fall behind, graduate late and even drop out.”

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