Laundry room designed to remove barriers for low-income students

Posted at 5:09 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 20:19:21-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A makeshift laundry room at a Nashville Public school is doing more than just cleaning clothes.

"We are trying to see what we can do to eliminate barriers," said Angelica Brooks-James, site coordinator at Jere Baxter Middle School.

Out of roughly 300 students, 70 percent of them are considered economically disadvantaged. For them, doing laundry week after week can add up.

Assistant Principal Chris George said after speaking with a number of students, they realized why some were unintentionally violating the dress code.

"When we spoke to students they would tell us I do have clothes for the dress code but they are dirty and I don't have the means to wash them," said George.

Using the school's washer and dryer doesn't cost parents or students a dime. The initiative is part of Metro public school's "Community Achieves" program. All of the supplies from detergent to the washing machines are donated. This simple act can help eliminate student bullying.

"If you come to school and clothes dirty or odor then kids pick on you so if we can eliminate that so kids can focus on learning and not deal with that," said Brooks-James.

As parents wash the clothes, they can also keep an eye on their kids. There are also computers for them to use if they need to job hunt or print something out.

Community Achieves is part of MNPS Support Services and the Initiative is in 34 schools. More than 10 of the schools have washer and dryers. Most of the machines have been donated by Blake McDaniel. He works for Creative Artists Agency. Each school has a strategic plan for partnerships with various ways for the community to help. That information can be found at

To donate time or supplies to Jere Baxter Middle School, you can reach out to Community Achieves Site Manager Angelica Brooks-James. Brooks-James can be reached at 615-474-1502. You can also drop off supplies at the middle school Monday to Friday from, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., located on 350 Hart Lane in Nashville.