Photos by Scott Johnson and
Dr. LaKeshia Thomas, DMD, Community Outreach Director for Women in Training, Inc., has established a collaborative relationship with Montgomery Public Schools to provide monthly WITKITS of menstrual, dental and hygiene supplies to students in need. On April 8, 2022, Dr. Thomas, WIT Board Member Khadidah Stone, and a team of WIT volunteers delivered almost 600 WITKITS to school nurses at all ten MPS middle and two elementary schools.
“Many girls have to often make a decision on whether they need to stay or miss school during the time of their menstrual cycle due to period poverty,” said Dr. Thomas. “I had the joy of distributing WITKITS with Montgomery Public Schools nurses to all of the MPS middle schools and two elementary schools on April 8th.”
Dr. Thomas further stated that WIT’S effort to fight to end period poverty is vitally important.
“We want our young girls to know that they are never alone,” she said. “WIT wants to make sure young girls have the confidence and know the importance of keeping their bodies healthy. It is necessary that we supply our girls with the right products for their menstrual health and that’s why I am excited about Women In Training and Montgomery Public Schools’ collaboration to support our young girls.”
McKee Middle School welcomed the WITKITS in big style with athletic cheerleaders celebrating the gifts! Montgomery School Board Vice President Claudia Thomas Mitchell, who is also the Women in Training, Inc. Vice President, was present for the WITKITS giveaway away.
"This is amazing to see because, in my day, we never spoke about the particulars of a woman," Mitchell said. "Now, we have a state law that provides $200,000 in grants to the Alabama Department of Education to provide menstrual hygiene products for students in Title I schools. We have come a long way!"
Patrick Nelson, Principal, McKee Middle School agreed.
"We really don't know what the longterm impact of this vision and law will be," Nelson said. "I have teachers today who were students in my class as a young educator. They come back and say a life lesson I taught them inspired them to become teachers. So, I say to those who had the vision to implement this law: 'We won't know the full impact for years to come!'"
Student volunteers from Auburn University of Montgomery’s Association of Nursing Students and Auburn University of Montgomery CURVE organization, as well as sisters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Montgomery Stake Relief Society, or women’s society, helped to pack and deliver the WITKITS. Dr. LaToya Clark, MD, WIT Board President and Chairwoman, supported Dr. Thomas by helping her shop for supplies for the WITKITS going to Montgomery Public School students.
Each WITKIT includes a handmade bracelet with a butterfly logo and an inspiring word, such as "peace," "love" and "beauty." WIT Board Secretary Dr. Lee Farrow, PhD, Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Auburn University of Montgomery, makes each bracelet with love and care.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Women in Training to distribute WITKITS to our middle school girls,” said Jennifer Moseley, RN, a Montgomery Public Schools nurse. “The first round of distribution went great. Girls were so appreciative to receive the bags. We love the positivity that Women in Training brings, and we’re so grateful for the program. Girls really need to know that they are cared for and WIT has really shown that to them.”