ROCKLAND — Accessibility to essential hygiene products was made easier at South School in Rockland earlier this school year, and the accessibility remains amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, even more students have access to the products.
Over the last four years of working at South School, speech language pathology assistant Heather Anderson found herself ensuring the basic needs of each student were being met through a snack or clothing.
“We are asking these students to learn and meet standards,” Anderson said. “However, without proper basic needs met they will be unable to do so.”
Earlier this school year, Anderson established a more central location in the school, the Comfort Closet, to make student accessibility to products they need easier.
During the school year, the program assists 30 students every couple of weeks, though Anderson noted there are more students needing assistance.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has seen an increased need.
As such, the program has been able to send one round of hygiene products to about 175 families. The program is preparing to send out a second round of products in the coming days and has set a goal of assisting more than 200 families during the pandemic.
Among the distributed products are toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, body wash, soap, tissues, toilet paper, hand wipes, female products and deodorant.
With the school being closed amid COVID-19, the first round of hygiene products were distributed when parents picked up their children’s assignment packets. The second round will likely be distributed in the coming days when parents arrive to pickup a meal bag for their children, or on one of the buses delivering meal bags.
Members of the school that would like to support the program or receive benefits of the program should email Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The importance of helping our students is our number one goal,” said Anderson. “Please reach out, we are here to help.”
Reach George Harvey at: email@example.com.