By Adam Strunk
Most students will have to wear a face covering this coming year when attending Newton schools.
The Cover Our Kids initiative, is aiming to make sure those kids are, well, covered.
The initiative, led by Sara Kelly of Newton, is raising funds and collecting masks to help USD 373 outfit students in face coverings as a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a real in-life action people can take to help their community,” Kelly said of the campaign.
Kelly explained that the school district will already provide face coverings to students but this effort would provide more masks and coverings to ensure students don’t run out.
Kelly said she grew motivated to try to do something in the community during the city and county discussions over mask requirements. She said that once those conversations had concluded she wanted to find a constructive avenue for the community to put its energy behind.
“I was looking at how to bring people back to common ground and work together,” she said. “Knowing kids would need masks going back to school, this made sense.”
People can make and drop off masks and face coverings at locations such as Norms, Mojos and the USD 373 Administrative Office. Kelly said that different sizes of children’s masks are welcome.
Monetary donations can be submitted through the Central Kansas Community Foundation website here, by filling out donation form and writing “District face coverings” in the memo line. Funds will be given from the community foundation as a grant to the school district for face covering purchases.
Kelly said she had worked with other community members such as Clint McBroom as well as the Newton Area Chamber in working to raise support for the project. She’s also working with area businesses to raise funds as well.