In addition to lacking access to basic items, many at-hope youths lack knowledge about how to use hygiene products. Hope & Comfort works with public schools and youth-serving organizations to educate about health and proper hygiene.
For younger children, our curriculum includes fun activities like brushing eggs that have been soaked in soda overnight. Egg shells are similar in texture to teeth and demonstrate the importance of brushing. Another activity with meaningful impact entails painting a child’s hand in glow paint, and then having them shake hands with peers. This visual exercise allows youth to see how quickly germs spread.
Hope & Comfort has also organized guest speakers like dentists, doctors and Brandeis University athletes to talk with at-hope youth about good hygiene. Our education program works hand-in-hand with our distribution program to allow every child to begin their day with dignity.
WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HOPE & COMFORT
Impact of Hygiene Education Programming
“We teach a series of Healthy & Safe Body lessons to fifth-grade students… Puberty and changing bodies can be a scary time for kids, as they have many questions and misconceptions. Providing education, allowing students time to ask questions, and distributing the self-care kits has helped our students each year build confidence and reduce anxiety. Not only talking about how to care for a changing body, but providing the tools to do so, has been an extremely effective way support the students! Thank you, Hope & Comfort!”
– A fifth grade teacher in Boston
Why Hygiene Education is Needed
“We are requesting these products because personal hygiene is an issue. Personal hygiene is taught and stressed, but it is still a huge problem among the third-grade students. Many of the children struggle with body odor and the social issues that it comes with. Dental hygiene is also a matter of concern. Though the children are able, with parent consent, to receive a fluoride treatment when the school dentist comes, not many students bring back a signed permission slip.”
– A third grade teacher
Providing Lifelong Lessons
“Our fifth-grade students will be going to middle school next year and we want to start them off in a positive way during a big change in their lives. I believe by providing these materials, we can help the students feel more uplifted and confident, and that is something they will hopefully carry on the rest of their lives. When they use these items in the morning, they can have a pleasant start to their day.”
– A fifth grade teacher in Lynn, MA
Giving Students an Opportunity to Succeed
“Our school has many strengths and bright spots despite the challenges being thrown daily at our community. For example, 20 percent of our population is currently experiencing homelessness… As we have seen an increase in students not having access to hygiene products, we are looking to eliminate the potential that exists for these students to be singled out by their peers.”
– A staff member at a Boston Public School