Danville college collects facemasks for neighboring school

Posted8/10/2020 7:00 AM

DANVILLE, Ill. -- Danville Area Community College's partnership last year with a nearby grade school fell by the wayside when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The best way to restart it, DACC staff thought, was to make sure Meade Park Elementary School students had face coverings to keep them safe this fall.


The (Danville) Commercial-News reports that DACC collected 700 homemade cloth masks for Meade Park pupils after appealing to the community. Sewing machines were installed at the Mary Miller Center at the school for employees to use and masks came in from around central Illinois.

'A woman from Mahomet made over 100 masks,' said Susie Landers, assessment retention counselor in DACC's adult education department. 'We've got boys' masks and girls' masks. Some are reversible, some have mermaids, motorcycles and rainbows on them."

The partnership began last fall as part of DACC President Stephen Nacco's BHAG Challenge, for 'Big Hairy Audacious Goal.'

Laura Williams, dean of adult education and literacy, decided her department's BHAG would be connecting with the youngsters and getting them to consider college. A warm outerwear collection was concluded in December. The spring agenda included male mentors for the school's large number of boys. But the rapid spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus, closed schools statewide in March.

A statewide rule that schoolchildren wear masks for in-classroom instruction this fall inspired the mask collection.

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