Members of the nonprofit Carroll High School Foundation, an organization that promotes education in the preK-12 public school system, early this week distributed 1,000 COVID-19-preventing face shields to students and teachers in the district’s four buildings.
That amounts to a $30,000 donation from the foundation for the shields, which were provided to about 200 teachers and 800 preschool-through-fourth-grade students. The CHS Foundation is assessing demand in the next week and could be making another round of shield purchases to distribute to even more students and staff.
Wearing the donated shields will be voluntary for both teachers and students under district policy, which strongly recommends but doesn’t mandate masks in response to the global coronavirus.
“I think when we walked in the classrooms, the teachers were really excited to have them available,” CHS Foundation President Shellie Haluska said. “There was a lot of stress relief from some, it seemed, to have an option in their classrooms. It’s just a way to keep the kids safe and to have a different academic experience than just having their masks available.”
Some teachers told Haluska and other CHS Foundation board members that the delivery of the shields made it easier for them to return to school.
“We’ve had a couple of teachers who have said they have had extreme anxiety around coming back and feeling safe in the classroom with all of the kids,” Haluska said. “One of the teachers we talked to just said, ‘You know, this was just a big decision-maker for me in wanting to come back, knowing that I have this as an option in the classroom.’ ”
The protective devices — known as humanity shields — are produced by the high-profile Juneau, Alaska-based Rapid Response PPE.
The humanity shield, produced in both adult and children’s sizes, is made of a clear plastic material integrated with a barrier cloth made from medical-grade nonwoven filter fabric. The shield also uses a Velcro closure, which, unlike elastic, does not stretch out after repeated use.
The donation is bolstered by the Bill Evans Foundation For Kids, which provided $10,000 to the foundation.
No taxpayer dollars are involved in the CHS Foundation shield project, which is in line with the foundation’s history of providing contributions for hundreds of programs and projects the district cannot afford, or chooses not to include in its budget. That said, the Carroll High School Foundation is soliciting donations to help pay for the shield donation expense as it has cut into the limited nonprofit budget and delayed spending for other school projects and programs.
HOW TO DONATE
1. Go here to donate online:
2. Write a check made payable to “CHS Foundation” and mail to Carroll High School Foundation, P.O. Box 314, Carroll, IA 51401