Rams help battle absenteeism by donating washers and dryers to LAUSD schools

Anabel Munoz Image
Saturday, May 25, 2024
Rams help keep kids in class by donating washers and dryers to schools
The Los Angeles Rams are partnering with nonprofits to donate washers and dryers to LAUSD, to help kids who may skip school when they don't have clean clothes.

WATTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Rams spent Friday morning creating a memorable experience for young students in Watts. It included free shopping for new clothes and playing on the field.

It is part of a partnership to combat chronic student absenteeism, which is when a student misses 10% or more of instructional days.

According to California Department of Education data, in 2023 chronic absenteeism impacted 31% of Los Angeles Unified School District students. It did decline nearly 8.8%.

One of the contributing factors may simply be laundry and clothing challenges.

"When we talk about chronic absenteeism, students aren't coming to school because they don't have clean clothing," said Noel Grigsby, associate manager of social justice and football development with the Rams.

The Rams and Pacsun will donate $2 million worth of clothing to under-resourced schools in L.A. County as a continuation of their "Geared for Greatness" initiative. They are now launching "Loads of Love" along with nonprofit Think Watts Foundation by donating a washer and dryer to 20 under-resourced schools.

"You may think that bringing a washer and dryer to 20 schools across our community may not be a big thing, until you realize many kids don't necessarily have the clothing, and when they have it, they don't have a place where their parents can wash it," said LAUSD superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

One of the schools is 112th Street STEAM Academy.

"I'm gonna say about 90% of my students come from the Nickerson Gardens housing projects. There is a low social and economic population that comes to our school," said school principal Jose Hernandez.

"It feels like I'm in a dream," said one student about the experience.

Students also got to meet and play with Rams running back Kyren Williams.

"Just having these events like that shows you, shows the love that people have for the community that these kids live in," said Williams.

Hernandez said the school plans to provide access to the washer and dryer through the school's parent center.