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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Free Laundry Service For RPS 205 Students

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

A free student laundry program kicks off this week in Rockford.

The "Fresh for Learning" program lets any Rockford Public School student wash their clothes for free at the new 5 Alarm Coin Laundromat located at 3939 West Riverside Blvd. The program will run every Wednesday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Rockford Police Department ROCK House Officer Patrice Turner leads the program. She got the idea after spending eight years as a school resource officer and noticed a truancy problem. 

"[Students] didn't want to come to school, and they didn't want to deal with things like bullying and getting picked on because they had dirty clothes -- so they just wouldn't come,” Turner said.

The program is sponsored by Molina Healthcare of Illinois. To participate, all students need to do is show their school identification.

5 Alarm Coin Laundry opened in July with the assistance of a City of Rockford Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Forgivable Loan for $25,000 to purchase equipment.

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.