NEW YORK, August 2, 2021 – The persistence of COVID-19 and the surge of the highly transmissible Delta variant has spurred a partnership between the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and SchoolMaskPack, innovators behind the best-selling Crayola licensed 5-day mask system.
Through the shared value of caring for students, teachers and educators, the collaboration between NSBA and SchoolMaskPack aims to provide high-quality reusable masks to classrooms across the country. In addition to a donation of mask packs for under-served school districts, SchoolMaskPack will give an additional set of masks to teachers and administrators who are purchasing for their schools to help ensure a seamless return to in-person learning. NSBA is a federation of state associations that represent 90,000 locally elected school board officials serving approximately 51 million public school students.
“As students and educators return to classrooms this fall, masks are a critical component to containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping people safe, especially younger students who are not yet eligible for the vaccine,” says Chip Slaven, interim Executive Director and CEO of the Alexandria, VA-based NSBA. “Through this partnership with SchoolMaskPack, we can help ensure that students, schools, and school districts have a smooth return to classrooms this fall.”
SchoolMaskPack Chief Commercial Officer George Hartel says the partnership with NSBA is a way to support school communities through their re-openings in September, while vaccine approvals for children under 12 remain under consideration by the federal government.
“With many students too young to be eligible for the vaccines, mask-wearing as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC is the most effective public health practice to reduce the spread of this pernicious virus,” says Hartel. “We pioneered a 5-day mask system for kids and families that was designed by parents and teachers, and since June 2020 we have seen over one million parents choose SchoolMackPack as the best solution for their children.”
While there is near universal support for school re-openings, the possibilities of ongoing disruption to the continuity of education are significant, says Hartel. “With many parts of the world having a start-stop experience with their school re-openings, we believe that universal mask-wearing will help to keep the focus on in-person learning and reduce potential ongoing disruptions."