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Seventh Graders Initiate Partnership with Aunt Flow

In December Imani W. '27 noticed how Calhoun didn't have any pad or tampon dispensers in the Middle School and Upper School student bathrooms. She thought there should be an easier option than bringing products from home. As she writes, "I think menstrual products are unnecessarily expensive in stores and we shouldn’t have to pay for them because they’re things that many people use." Especially in Middle School, it "could be embarrassing to be in the hallway with a bunch of people and then pull out a pad or tampon."

Imani spoke with her friend Simone A. '27, and together they brought their concerns to Middle School Coordinator and 6th Grade Dean Hannah Scarritt-Selman. In the following weeks, the three of them discussed the issue and their ideas on how to solve the problem. Eventually they created a petition to get menstrual products in the bathroom as a way to spread the word and build momentum for the cause. Students in all Middle School grades signed it, which Imani describes as "really great" to see.

Fueled by student support, Imani, Simone and Hannah began researching companies to partner with. They learned of the organization Aunt Flow and were drawn to its focus on "de-stigmatizing periods and period-talk in general," explains Hannah. As she continued, "The students liked how the product was very straightforward, environmentally conscious and contributed to making the bathroom spaces feel safe for the community." After taking measurements and planning where the dispensers would go, the maintenance team installed them in the bathrooms; since then students in the Organization Club have been stocking them regularly. This student-driven project exemplifies the spirit of Calhoun: turning an idea into action.

Left to right: seventh graders Imani W., Leah-Kaye P-M., Simone A., Amaya O., and Chiamaka M.