LA GRANDE — Community members and businesses have made at least 290 masks for students and staff in the La Grande School District.
Oregon State University Extension Service Family and Community Health Program is leading the effort to provide cloth masks for the upcoming school year with Robin Maille, an assistant professor of practice in the program, coordinating the project. The La Grande School District initially asked Maille to help find 1,500 masks, but lowered the amount to 1,000.
“You can be creative with these cloth masks,” Maille said. “These masks are more sustainable and a good investment.”
Maille has received donations from businesses and community members and is sewing masks to help add to the collection. She also helps those making masks with getting fabric and materials. She said it is important to have masks available for those who may not have one or for those who forget them.
“A lot of kids will come already with masks, but kids lose things all of the time,” Maille said. “Having a stock of these masks will be important when people forget or lose their own.”
The La Grande School District will start the year with distance learning, but Maille said she still is collecting masks for when the school district does reopen.
“We are going to reopen at some point, so this is a good way to be prepared,” Maille said.