School Nurse Webinar Co-hosted by Georgia STOMP!

On February 24th at noon, Georgia STOMP is honored to work alongside the Georgia Association of School Nurses to host a live webinar for school nurses and other school employees who distribute period products to students in Georgia. The webinar will originate on a platform provided by the Georgia Department of Education and include an opportunity for real time Q&A by participants.

The webinar will begin with an update on the distribution of funds earmarked in the 2019 legislative session for the purchase of feminine hygiene products in Georgia’s public schools, and through local health departments. Several case studies featuring local school leaders will highlight how various districts are distributing the funds and addressing the needs of students while minimizing stigmatization. Dr Andrea Swartzendruber, a Georgia STOMP coalition research partner from UGa, will speak on the developmental and psychological importance of accurate information related to menstruation, in addition to access to products. The webinar will conclude with Q&A from participating school staff and presenters.

As a Georgia STOMP follower, make sure your local school staff is aware of this opportunity!


 

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Advocacy Highlight: Students Speak to Fulton County School Board

This guest blog post was written by Aanika Eragam, student at Milton High School and a Homegirl Project fellow.  On December 3rd, Aanika spoke to the Fulton County School Board about the need for period products in Fulton County Schools.  Prior to that, Aanika  reached out to Georgia STOMP regarding her research and intention to speak to the School Board. We are honored to be connected to such a capable young leader! Watch the video and hear why!

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On December 3, 2019, a coalition of high school students presented a resolution to the Fulton County School Board, requesting a specific policy amendment that would require secondary schools to provide menstrual products free of cost in restrooms. The event was a culmination of collective student outrage stemming from a lack of access to period products in the school setting, an issue that holds grave implications for students’ mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their academic achievement. When products like toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels are available free of cost in all restrooms, students had to ask why menstrual products, which are also considered a basic necessity, are not.

Students explained to the Board how a lack of free-of-cost menstrual products in public schools confiscates the basic dignity of students, disrupts the learning environment for girls, and for those living below the poverty line, leaves them without basic access. Students hope they made a strong case to the Board and placed period poverty on the agenda. They will continue to work towards ensuring accountability through civic engagement at the grassroots level.

 

Spotlight on Period.UGA!

IMG_8676Under the leadership of Chapter President, Jessica Ma, the PERIOD. group at the University of Georgia is thriving and bringing the message of menstrual equity to the campus in Athens.

On November 4th, following Period.UGA’s recent addition as a member, Georgia STOMP leadership updated a roomful of students on the coalition’s work. Questions following the presentation revealed just how informed and prepared to advocate Period.UGA is!

IMG_8683Additionally, these vibrant young women are proving themselves as leaders in the movement to eradicate period poverty. Through on-campus collections and distribution locally to those experiencing homelessness, they work to find new ways to share the message of menstrual equity.

Period.UGA’s recent National Period Day event was brilliantly planned to take advantage of traffic on campus for the Georgia Bulldog’s homecoming game. Georgia STOMP is better due to the work, voice and energy of these coalition partners!

 

 

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2nd Annual National Summit for Period Poverty Leadership

Claire Cox and Adele Stewart recently attended the Alliance for Period Supplies’ (APS) National Summit for Period Poverty Leadership on October 23rd, 2019. It was the second time the Georgia STOMP coalition attended the summit, though the first time Georgia STOMP was just an idea – not a 15,000 person-strong reality!

At the Summit, Claire and Adele presented the progress made over the last year in Georgia – highlighting the coalition building that led to successful relationships forged with Georgia’s Emergency Management Agency, Department of Corrections, Department of Education, and Department of Public Health.

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Cheering them on as they presented were two coalition member representatives – Jamie Lackey, CEO of Helping Mamas, and early advocate for the Georgia STOMP pillars, and Andrea Cooke, of Macon Periods Easier fame! Both were able to answer questions by other attendees about their involvement with the coalition, and some of the innovative ways they are addressing product need in Georgia.

Other presentations included incredible data reviews from a disturbing but incredibly meaningful study in St. Louis by Dr. Anne Serbert Kuhlmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., followed by a review of a year’s worth of APS data by Kelley Massengale, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director of Research and Evaluation at the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. The data from both of these presentations will surely change the advocacy landscape nationwide, highlighting our understanding of menstrual product access.

Look for more insights from the Summit over the coming weeks as we prepare for the 2020 Legislative Session!

Communities in Schools: Fueling Ambition in Schools

Communities in Schools Georgia President and CEO, Carol Lewis, spoke to Georgia STOMP leadership following our presentation and indicated CIS-Georgia’s desire to join the coalition!

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Claire Cox (Georgia STOMP), Carol Lewis (CIS-Ga President and CEO) and Leslie Myles (CIS-Ga Director Programs and Student Support Services)

Georgia STOMP was invited to speak at the Communities in Schools (CIS) Executive Directors’ meeting today in Atlanta, where affiliates from across the state met to plan for the upcoming year.  It was an honor for our coalition to be present as the men and women at the tables dedicate their time ensuring Georgia’s students succeed and reach their potential.

Claire Cox presented about Georgia STOMP’s 4 pillars, focusing on the $1 million in funding that was allocated to the Department of Education for feminine hygiene products. Those present were encouraged to communicate with principals, school nurses, school staff, and community members about the state funding to ensure all school systems know its purpose when the money is released by the State Department of Education and to be prepared to advocate for its continued presence in the budget when the legislature convenes for its 2020 session. All of the Executive Directors were also invited to officially join the Georgia STOMP coalition.

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