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Program punctuates removing barriers, keeping students in school

Kentwood — Students district-wide recently received menstrual hygiene products for free, thanks to a state grant.

Kentwood Public Schools has had two of three planned distributions so far, serving about 500 students with 20 period products per distribution, through the Michigan Department of Education’s Accessible Period Products Program. KPS is one of 15 districts in the state to take part in the pilot program, and received $95,000 in grant funds. The district is partnering with Kent School Services Network to get the pads and tampons to students.

The mission of the program is to meet the basic needs of all students by removing barriers such as cost of products and transportation that may prevent students from obtaining essential items. It’s also about fostering a supportive environment and reducing stigma and shame associated with menstruation, said Alex Corbett, district nurse coordinator.

“We never want to hear that a student is missing a week of school because they can’t afford products,” Corbett said.

Read more from Kentwood: 
District invests in web of support for students’ health, well-being
Staff supports families with games, hygiene items

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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