As many students across New Jersey had back to school this month with backpacks full of school supplies, there are students who will be unable to afford school supplies, students who live in shelters and students who live bouncing around between the houses of friends.
While many students and their families take for granted having homes with closets full of clothes to wear to school and washing machines to clean those clothes, some students worry about what they will wear to school the next day and will those clothes be clean.
Reporting about West Side High School in Newark, Inside Edition reported “After watching homeless students being shamed and bullied because their clothes smelled, West Side High School Principal Akbar Cook decided what he needed was washing machines and dryers.”
“It took him two years, but he secured a $20,000 grant and labor help from the Newark school district to renovate an old locker room into a free laundromat.”
“Five washers and five dryers, I got a … sink right here,” he proudly said.
Because of Principal Cook’s perseverance, his homeless high school students in Newark will now be able to begin in each school day with a clean and fresh start.