Free Menstruation, Equal Education.
MONTHLY DIGNITY'S PILOT PROJECT IN MONTREAL SCHOOLS.
Monthly Dignity and John F. Kennedy Highschool have entered in a major partnership. Together, we aim to tackle period poverty within the school and among other schools of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), via a palliative and discursive model.
JFK highschool is a code 10 on the poverty scale. Community leader Rocco Speranza and JFK Admin Mr. Campbell-Guerriero and Mr. Delaney noticed that a lack of access to menstrual hygiene products was leading to absenteeism within the school. Indeed, students frequently missed class when on their period, month after month.
TOP: First product pick up at Moisson Montréal! 12 boxes fit in the car.
Mr. Vito Campbell-Guerriero (Vice Principal JFK), Mr. Rocco Speranza (Community Leader JFK), Ms. Chloé Pronovost-Morgan (Co-founder Monthly Dignity)
BOTTOM: Second batch of products delivered by volunteer Elisabeth Svoboda (pictured here with Rocco Speranza), at JFK.
Top: Free pads in all bathrooms!
Bottom: Take-home packages: a mix of pads and tampons.
Upon noticing this trend, Rocco Speranza contacted Monthly Dignity, who immediately committed to distributing an initial 15,000 products to the high school.
The partnership will allow us to provide period products to students free of charge, so that access to these essential products is never again a question - nor a barrier to education.
Pads and tampons have already been made widely accessible throughout the school: in bathrooms, the nurses office and in packages that students can bring home.
In addition to this palliative distribution, we are rolling out a collaborative educational program. Our objective is to destigmatize menstruation and empower young menstruators. In fact, menstrual shame and inadequate information regarding the menstrual cycle can present as much as a barrier to societal participation as a lack of access to products does.
JFK will keep records of the distribution process in hopes to present the data to city officials. We aim to obtain recognition on this issue’s importance and devastating impacts – and to advocate for governmental action in line with Scotland’s new legislation, which ensures access to period products to anyone who needs them.