There should never be a question about kids getting what they need from school. It is often more than what you can find on the pages of the text books. But in order to gain these things the kids must first attend the school. West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, was seeing some low attendance from certain students. When principal Akbar Cook looked into the problem he discovered one of the reasons his kids weren’t showing up to school was because when they did it was in dirty clothing and they were being bullied. This has led to the school offering students a new service; one not often seen in schools. A laundry room.
Kids at West Side High can make use of “The Big Room” where five commercial grade washing machines and dryers along with donated bottles of laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets can be found. This is all in an effort to encourage the kids to feel more comfortable in getting their education. “I think we really put the microscope on basic needs of kids. Everyone wants the high test scores, everyone wants them to perform well. But if the kid doesn’t feel confidence in just coming to school, being that person we know they can be, then what are we doing,” Cook said.
This attitude that Mr. Cook brings to the school is credited by some students with improving not only their education but also their entire living situation and helping rid the school of violence. Not just the school but also the neighbourhood. If you would like to know more about this outstanding educator you can find more and watch the video in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Remember the importance of schools in our society. What they can mean for the kids who attend them and why we must support and maintain the best and most caring staff possible to ensure our children are being helped up in all the ways they require. Especially schools in neighbourhoods and cities that struggle with violence, crime, and drugs.
Story and Image from CBS News.