OWATONNA, MN (CNN) – “It does make a difference to our kids. some of the kids have to walk to school in the rain because they don’t have access to transportation. So they come to school, we get them a change of clothes, they throw their clothes into the wash,” Principal Kiefer said.
Principal Jim Kiefer at the Owatonna ALC is talking about the brand new washer and dryer the school just received through a grant.
He noticed some of the students weren’t showing up to school simply because they didn’t have clean clothes.
That’s when they applied for the ISD761 Foundation Grant.
“I have noticed the attendance for some students has gone up and they just carry themselves differently, but we don’t draw attention to it,” Principal Kiefer said.
And this laundry soap isn’t just your typical detergent, one of the science teachers here is actually making it and the students are helping her.
“We really try hard to form relationships with our students so that we can understand what their needs are and once they trust us enough to share those needs, we help identify what those barriers that are preventing them from not being in school and from learning,” Principal Kiefer said
Dena Lobb, a special education teacher says receiving this washer and dryer is more than just having clean clothes for the students.
“Our goal is to help them when they leave here that they can be efficient, they have the social skills, the life skills to live on their own,” Lobb said.
“This is everything. My motto as a principal, it’s on my wall there, this child right now – it’s really a matter of what does this student in front of me mean,” Principal Kiefer said.
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