The Menstrual Products Initiative
DeFrance posted on her community NextDoor page in January that she has noticed some students take pads at the end of the day because they don’t have any menstrual products available at home. She also mentioned that 99.8% of her students are economically disadvantaged and receive a free breakfast, lunch, and supper at school.
The teacher already got the reputation of an adult female who students can approach when they need menstrual products, which their families can’t afford. She gained an unofficial status of “pad bag teacher” and her initiative has now become school-wide, thanks to the support she received from the Austin community.
The Experience So Far
Kylie DeFrance posted recently that it’s been just four months since she posted her Amazon wishlist with the tampons and pads and that every single day she’s grateful for the amazing community who keeps donating to the cause. She has received about 300 boxes of pads and 100 tampons until now and she said that these quantities exceeded her expectations. She commented that she’s now able to provide other teachers in the school with boxes so they can stock up their classrooms as well.
Under the Poverty Line
According to Glimmer Austin, about 17% of kids under 18 in Travis County lived below the poverty line in 2016. Also, it’s more likely for children to live in poverty than adults and seniors. It was also reported that Kylie DeFrance has been able to send menstrual product kits home with students. She mentioned that she’s planning to do that, as well as stock up backpacks for as long as she gets donations.