A local foundation is seeking donations to help keep both students and teachers safe during the upcoming school year.
The Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation is asking the public for help in providing masks for district students and faculty as District 117 prepares for the return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
JPSF Executive Director Amy Albers says there are many reasons why the mask a student starts the day with may need to be replaced, and JPSF’s goal is to provide every teacher with a supply in their classroom for the safety of every student
and the teacher.
“We are trying to collect three thousand masks to have available to our teachers in the classroom, even though the State of Illinois is providing every student with one mask to start the school year with. I am sure there are parents that will also provide masks for their kids. They are absolutely going to have problems during the school day and mask is going to need to be replaced immediately.
There isn’t going to be a chance for a student to always call home and get another mask, or that a parent is event going to have another mask on hand for their child. So we need to make sure we are keeping teachers and every student in the classroom safe, and we want to make sure that our teachers are equipped with extra masks so they have them on hand right away.”
Albers says various types of masks are being collected.
“We are collecting either disposable masks that you can buy at a local store, usually there are boxes full of them and we would love to have those also. More of a disposable mask that could be worn throughout the day or even a couple of days, and we would also love to have the reusable cloth masks.
It’s recommended they are made of cotton with two layers, and that would be best for our students to have, something that’s washable. They can be made elastic ear loops, but we would really prefer a cloth ear loop just because it’s more comfortable on a child or an adult that has to wear them everyday.”
Albers says it will take a community effort to reach their goal.
“It’s going to take the community to get involved in this in order to be able to collect three thousand masks. That’s a lofty goal but we really need to have that many and that probably won’t last us the whole school year, but it’s a darn good start.”
Donations can be dropped off on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9-1 or contact the Foundation office at 217-243-9411 ext. 1133 to arrange another time or pick up.
Albers says if you would rather make a donation towards the effort, checks can be mailed to 211 W. State Street in Jacksonville or use a credit/debit card through a link on the Foundation’s page located at www.jsd117.org. Use the red page links on the right to access the Foundation’s page.