The teachers at the Niota Elementary School have started a new trend of creating a comfort closet for their students. The comfort closet is a private closet where kids can go and clean themselves after having an accident or learn more about personal hygiene. Questions about hygiene often arise with children of a certain age. In most cases, the children will not ask anyone to save themselves from embarrassment.
Vanessa Bateman and Heather Malick of the Niota Elementary School are kindergarten teachers. It was their idea to create a comfort closet that is full of clothes, shoes, toiletries and other hygiene products. They installed the very first comfort closet at the school, which hosts both elementary and middle school students. Most children are embarrassed to ask or learn about basic hygiene, even to their friends and teachers. The closet is a great way for students to learn about it without being conscious of their questions.
The comfort closet was made in an old locker room. The closet can be used by any student so that they can discretely be taken to the room to shop and clean themselves up. Aside from the anonymity, it also helps them focus about learning to clean themselves without the added embarrassment and stress from other students. According to Bateman, there are 600 students in the school that use the closet. She says that it is used by around 10 students each week. The closet is stocked by donations from parents and the local community businesses.