by: Kalen Lizotte
SANFORD – For her senior year Ema Champney made it her mission to distribute period products to all the women’s restrooms on campus to make them accessible for women at Lee County High School.
Champney started this project with the help of AVID teacher Charity McLean, the school nurse Amanda Sharpe and LCHS principal Betsy Bridges.
“This project is a distribution of feminine products throughout all of the female bathrooms just so those in need who can’t afford feminine products or have accidents are able to have access,” said Champney.
Period products can be very expensive and it can be hard depending on financial status for some people to have access to such basic needs. When asked why she thought there were not already period products in the women’s restrooms McLean said, “It is a very expensive item to purchase, they’re not as inexpensive as they were 10, 20 years ago where you could just go and buy a pack of pads for a dollar or two. Prices have gone up to about five, 10 dollars.”
There have been other projects similar to Project Period starting in schools across the state. It reached LCHS when Champney brought the idea to McLean who told her to write up a document of all the necessary steps and contingencies and email it to administration at the school.
“She wrote the doc. I edited it, in a sense of this was all her idea,” said McLean
“I brought it to Mrs. McLean first and talked to her about it,” Champney explained, “and then I emailed Mrs Bridges. We then had a sit down conversation and we went over to the school nurse and everyone was on board. All I needed to do was get a layout plan of everything we needed.”
The goal of this project is to make period products normalized and very simple and easy to access, as well as limiting the amount of accidents happening in the girls restroom due to lack of products that women have on hand at school. Champney wants to make sure that everyone is given the tools they need.
“It is a normal thing that happens,” Champney said, “it is not like we ask to have a period.”
Champney and McLean both hope that this project can also help de-stigmatize period products in a school environment and help it be a non embarrassing experience.
“I think it will open the doors to students being able to ask for help,” McLean said.
“I hope that this project will help women not be embarrassed and they can be more confident about it.” Champney said.
“I’m extremely proud of Ema,” McLean said, “that she thought about it and that she made it happen. I am super proud of her and her dedication.”
There will also be a drive at the PowerPuff game Tuesday. Champney will hold a raffle with a chance to win a $25 VISA gift card, a $10 Starbucks gift card or a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.
Anyone wanting to donate can find one of the boxes throughout the LCHS campus. There are boxes in McLean’s room (Core 2223), Katie Brown’s room (AW 2104), Chandra McLaughlin’s room (AW 1104) and the front office.