Not all kids in the U.S. will be physically returning to their schools this fall, but for those who are heading back, tennis champ and mom Serena Williams is doing her bit to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in the classroom.
Williams took to social media to announce a partnership with apparel manufacturer Bella + Canvas, the National School Board Association and Scholastic. Together, they will donate 4.25 million masks and various educational materials to 115,000 underserved schools (54 million students) throughout the nation.
“Through the #MasksForKids program, schools can access affordable masks and educational materials, quickly,” Williams wrote in an Instagram post. “In addition to donating 4.25 million masks, another mask will be donated for each one purchased by the schools.”
The Twitter account for S by Serena, Williams’ independent clothing line, also tweeted the news on July 29, and added that for every purchase made in August, an additional 500 masks will be donated.
.@serenawilliams is teaming up with @BellaCanvasLA to donate millions of masks to K-12 students in schools across America. For every purchase now through August, we will donate 500 masks as part of the #MasksForKids program. Thank you for helping us help others. Link in bio! pic.twitter.com/P0UaNLu9fp
— S by Serena (@sbyserena) July 29, 2020
“I’m grateful to be able to help educate our schools about this resource, and to be given the opportunity to serve so many students,” Williams continued in her Instagram caption.
One size fits most kids, and the mask’s contoured shape makes it versatile for many face sizes and shapes. The masks are available in black, red, blue, purple, gold, orange, mauve, navy and green.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bella + Canvas quickly pivoted from making T-shirts to producing fabric face coverings in their Los Angeles production facilities.
The company also offers a useful mask-wearing guide on its website with all the mask-related do’s and don’ts that parents and teachers will want to discuss with kids as they go back to school. The PDF guide is able to be downloaded, printed out and displayed in a classroom or at home.
Some of these reminders include: Use the ear bands to put on and take off the mask (don’t touch the front of the mask), make sure both the nose and mouth are covered, wash your hands for 20 seconds before putting on or removing the mask, and stay 6 feet apart from others, even with a mask on.