School Leader, the quarterly magazine of the New Jersey School Boards Association, is pleased to introduce a new episode in its “Up Close” companion video feature.

The second feature in the series highlights the innovative Confidence Closet program in Paterson Public Schools, which offers hygiene products to students.

The segment includes an interview with Eileen F. Shafer, the district’s superintendent, who noted the products, which include toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash and soap, allow students to feel comfortable with themselves so they can focus on learning.

“Whether I have a cold, whether my back hurts, whether I experienced some trauma or whether my hair is dirty, all of that relates to a student wellness program as I see it,” she told School Leader.

The video notes that the initiative received a huge boost in November 2022 when the Colgate-Palmolive Co. donated 28,500 hygiene products to stock the closets, which are currently available at four Paterson schools. With continued support, the district hopes to expand the availability of the closets.

Watch the latest Up-Close video – and also be sure to read the feature article in the latest issue of School Leader.

We also invite you to watch the first video in the Up-Close series.