Ocean County School Staff Does Laundry for Disadvantaged Students
Faculty at a southern Ocean County school is leading the effort to help their students in need, according to a report by the Press of Atlantic City.
Pinelands Regional Junior High School in Little Egg Harbor Township was faced with students unable to wash their clothes at home and either coming to school with dirty clothes or skipping school out of fear of embarrassment.
Knowing this, the school launched "The Legacy Center" in November for students and is also available for residents, twice per month. The flagship center allows students to drop off their dirty laundry in the morning, and school officials wash, fold, and return them to the students the next day.
Principal Eric Pschorr told the Press of Atlantic City that the economic downturn from Superstorm Sandy and the recent economic spiral of Atlantic City where the primary motivators for launching the program, "They're coming in with bags of clothes," he told the Press.
The center is located in a wing of the school and also has a row of cabinets filled with toiletries. The center also includes a food pantry and a refrigerator stocked with pizza and rolls. Along with a collection of free books people can take, there is also a place where students can wash their hair before class.
The idea was inspired by Akbar Cook, a Newark West Side High School principal that appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show in 2018 after he noticed his students skipping school because they did not have a place to wash their clothes. Cook's story of creating an area in the school packed with washers and dryers went viral and not only caught the attention of Ellen but Oprah Winfrey, too — who donated $500,000.
The Legacy Center describe in it's mission statement that they are motivated to be a force for good in the community and that it is an "authentic, unique, and innovative learning space designed to provide all stakeholders the opportunity to learn through service and compassion,"
"We supply basic necessities, clothing, and hygienic supplies to all who are in need," the center says on it's website.
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