School can be hard enough for young people from tests and planing for the future to making friends and the last thing on their minds should be “do my clothes smell?”
However, for many students at Duncan High School the worry about the state of the clothes is there and when librarian/Leadership teacher Savanah Bowers and Special Education Teacher Toni Howard put out a student survey in 2018 they found it was a top concern.
Bowers and Howard started brain storming and researching and in November 2018 put out a call of “will you help if we do this?” The response was huge.
Donations of soap, dyer sheets, other laundry goods and money came in to make it a reality.
Bowers said they were able to get a DEx Grant from the Duncan Public Schools Foundation for two washers and dryers which are now ready for students to use in the “Demon Den.”
“We used the monetary donations to get the fill items like mesh bags,” she said. “We also got some decorating items because we wanted the space to be more aesthetically pleasing and for it to be a fun space, that way if you do have to come you don’t feel like you’re being stuck in a closet.”
The space is now open and housed in an old home economics room.
“For right now I have sent out an email … and they can sign up through me. We have them fill out a Google form,” Bowers said. “What we are going to do is have teachers volunteer to stay in here during ‘Encore Time’ and lunch because the students will eat in here while they are doing their laundry.”
Bowers said it has been pegged down to two days: Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“It’s open to all students, not just students who don’t have a washer and dryer at home — you never know when a pipe is going to burst at your house,” she said. “We want everyone at the high school to know it is available to them.”
The teachers have also been ready to help. According to Bowers most of the volunteer spots have been taken almost to Christmas.
“Even though it was two teachers idea and we made it happen,” she said. “We want everyone in the school to feel ownership and proud that we have it here for our students.”
The community of Duncan has also been rallying behind the Demon Den.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have an idea and to have your community support you so much and to understand that there is a need for it,” she said,
For more information or to make a donation contact Bowers at the High School at 580-255-0700.