Nashville Period Project Holds Drive For Metro Schools Students
On Sept. 29, the Nashville Period Project challenge, an initiative to raise community awareness and reduce the stigma around menstruation, wrapped up collecting thousands of feminine hygiene products for MNPS female students in need. The lack of these products on a monthly basis is an issue for many economically disadvantaged girls and may prevent them from attending school each month. The project was started by Dr. Lakisha Simmons, executive director of the Achiever Academy, a nonprofit leadership academy for women. The challenge was a huge success raising more than 200,000 products through the help of more than 35 organizations and hundreds of volunteers.
“I don’t think I realized how big this was going to be, there has been so much participation from the community,” said Judith Lewis, MNPS Community Achieves specialist. “We hope this will be an ongoing project.”
The 200,000 products alone were more than what organizers expected but doubled after Healing Hands International announced plans to donate an additional 200,000 products to total more than 400,000.
“We are so happy to be able to spread those items to schools throughout the district so that girls do not have to go without proper feminine hygiene products each month,” Lewis said. “This project was created to eliminate barriers to education, and it has been amazing to see the support come from far and wide.”
A portion of the donations have been divided into boxes and delivered to every high school in the district as well as some middle schools. The district has made remaining products available to MNPS that may also need the products for female students as well as in the offices of school nurses.
The next step in the initiative is establishing a discreet distribution plan to limit the embarrassment or attention that may come with the need of these products. Lewis and others in the district are carefully thinking through any other possible barriers to provide access to all girls.
Those who would still like to donate products, may do so directly to schools or to the MNPS Warehouse, located at 2941 Foster Creighton Drive.
**Note: The MNPS Warehouse has limited space and may briefly stop collecting if the space becomes too full.
Read more about this Nashville Period Project initiative here.
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