- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
Period products now available at CCSD schools
Ninety-three percent of middle and high schools in the Cherry Creek School District now have free menstrual products and dispensers in all female and gender-neutral bathrooms. That number will hit 100% by mid-October. In addition, all Cherry Creek schools have free period supplies available in school clinics (pads only at the elementary and middle school levels and pads and tampons at the high school level). It’s all part of CCSD’s Period Partner Project, an effort to make sure no student ever feels embarrassed, leaves school, or stays away from school because they don’t have access to menstrual products.
“One of our five Core Values is Whole Wellbeing, which means focusing on students’ mental, physical, emotional and social needs so all students can thrive in school and in life,” explained Michelle Weinraub, Chief Health Officer for Cherry Creek Schools. “A student who is worried about not having period supplies cannot fully focus on academics or activities. The Period Partner Project allows students to take care of their menstrual needs during the school day.”
Research shows that 84% of U.S. teens have either missed class time or know someone who did because they did not have access to period products, and 23% have struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all.
“This is an equity issue,” Weinraub said. “Students who don’t have the means to afford period products experience more anxiety and absenteeism than those who do.”
The Period Partner Project is funded through a grant from the Colorado Department of Education, with additional funding from Title IV and CCSD Medicaid. The district is working with Aunt Flow, a female-founded and female-operated company. All Aunt Flow products are eco-friendly and organic.
The districtwide project follows two student-led efforts to provide free menstrual supplies to students. In 2019, Lauren Campbell and Annaliese Austin, now juniors at Grandview High School, earned the Girl Scout Silver Award for their efforts to raise money to install free menstrual pad dispensers in all the girls’ bathrooms at Liberty Middle School.
In 2021, the Challenge School Girl Scout troop collected menstrual products to place in the school’s bathrooms. Around that same time, Colorado passed legislation that created a grant program so that eligible schools can receive subsidized pads and tampons.
Middle and high schools will receive posters that can be placed in restrooms. The posters have a QR code that students can scan with their phone to get factual information about menstruation and using a pad.