The grant from The Pad Project will help the district to provide free feminine hygiene products at the three traditional high schools — Dearborn, Edsel Ford and Fordson — which together have about 6,000 students.
DPS has had some hygiene products available to girls who find themselves in need. Typically, the items are in the main office and possibly the nurses or social workers offices at every school, including middle and elementary. With the new grant, the district is looking to make feminine hygiene products available in high school restrooms. The Health Department is ordering the supplies covered in the grant and will provide those to the schools to distribute.
Public Health Director Ali Abazeed and Health Department Fellow Caitlin Sohrabi took charge of writing the grant. District nurse Amy Kandes collaborated.
“This intervention is about providing medically necessary products where they are needed and signaling to young girls across the city that this department cares about your health and wellbeing.” Sohrabi said.
According to The Pad Project, national figures show that 23 percent of students have struggled to afford period products, while 70 percent of students felt their school environment made them feel self-conscious about their period. Four in five menstruating students said they have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to period products.
Abazeed said the initiative is part of DPH’s commitment to promoting the health of Dearborn residents wherever they live, work, play and learn.
“We are deeply grateful for the collaboration of the Dearborn Public Schools, who have been supportive of this effort from the start,” Abazeed said. “We are committed to working with our partners in the district to promote healthy and safe learning environments for all students.”