- Richmond Public Schools
RPS Schools Receive Grant from Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to Build Laundry Centers
Richmond, Va. – Four Richmond Public Schools were recently awarded grants from the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to open laundry centers at their school site. Richmond Alternative High School, John Marshall High School, Swansboro Elementary School and Summer Hill Preschool Center, along with 38 other schools throughout Virginia and Maryland are recipients of the Loads of Love (LOL) grant, a program that installs laundry facilities in schools and non-profit organizations to directly impact children experiencing homelessness or unstable living situations.
The goal of the program is to remove a barrier for attendance and participation in programs and sports by providing students with a discreet solution to the challenge of having clean clothes, at no cost to them or their families. Studies have shown that placing washers and dryers in schools and offering laundry services to students can help boost attendance rates, class participation and interest in extra-curricular activities.
“The Loads of Love grant will show families and each individual student we serve at Richmond Alternative School and McKinney-Vento that there are people who care about them and their welfare,” said Lamont Trotter, Principal of Richmond Alternative High School. “This grant will afford our families and students the opportunity to utilize resources to help them move forward with their success and remove a barrier that prevents some of our students from attending school on a regular basis.”
Representatives from each school were invited to the Washington Redskins game on October 21 to accept the grant. They will also attend a kick-off meeting hosted at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park to gather resources and tools in order to successfully implement and maintain the program, including LOL starter kits that will include laundry bags, detergent, dryer sheets and a LOL logo decal for each of their centers.
Schools will use the grant to purchase washer and dryer units, laundry materials and supplies and any installation costs associated with plumbing, electrical and HVAC. The laundry centers will be available to students and staff to launder clothes, jackets and even the blankets that are needed for RPS’ youngest students.
“We were extremely excited to receive this grant as it will make a real difference in ensuring our babies have nice clean and warm blankets when they lie down for nap time,” said Dr. Johnnye Massenburg-Johnson, Manager of RPS Preschool Centers. “There are often times that a child’s clothes, especially coats, gloves and hats are in need of laundering and our parents have no means for cleaning them. During the day, children often have spills or may have an occasional accident. Having this grant allows our staff to launder these items without interrupting the school day for our students and the workday for our parents.”
For more information on the Loads to Love program, visit www.redskins.com/community/loads-of-love.