Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Margaret Brent Gains Laundry Facilities

By Celeste Perilla, Strong City Baltimore

Laundry may seem inconsequential in the effort to keep kids in school. But every day, students across Baltimore miss school because they lack clean clothes. Having nothing clean to wear to school could be the deciding factor in whether or not they want to face their classmates.

Whirlpool USA recently donated a washer and dryer to Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School, the public school that serves Remington, but the school building needed significant electrical and plumbing upgrades to get the appliances up and running.

Bill Cunningham, a GRIA board member, connected the school with a local business, R.E. Harrington Plumbing & Heating, which donated labor for the installation.

A collaboration between GRIA, the Village Parents, Charles Village Civic Association, and Strong City Baltimore raised more than $1,500, with $500 coming from GRIA and the rest coming from internet crowdfunding and an event at nearby Peabody Heights Brewery. The funds raised by the campaign will go toward maintenance, supplies, and uniform items for needy students.

Having a washer and dryer in the school will allow staff to wash uniforms for students who don’t have regular access to washers and dryers. Laundry programs such as this have shown great results in increasing attendance by students from lower-income families.

Margaret Brent is part of Strong City’s Community School program, along with Waverly Elementary/Middle, Guilford Elementary/Middle, and Barclay Elementary/Middle. One focus of the program is to remove non-academic barriers to learning for students and their families so kids are put in the best position to learn. A Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources.

Strong City staffer Sharicca Boldon is the community school contact for Margaret Brent. She coordinates and recruits community volunteers and other resources for the school. If you’d like more information on how to get involved at Margaret Brent or are interested in donating your time or resources, you can contact her at

Workers install a washer and dryer at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle. Access to laundry facilities has been linked to improved attendance.