Family & Consumer Science Department Helps Communities a Stitch at a Time
The Pine-Richland Family and Consumer Science Department (FCS) is helping communities one stitch at a time by constructing cloth face masks and encouraging students to do the same.
Governor Wolf has mandated that everyone must wear masks in stores and while working. The FCS teachers want to encourage their students to be active and responsible community members by constructing cloth face masks for their families and for personal use. The FCS department members from grades 7-12 have presented their students with the learning opportunity and necessary informational resources in order to create these masks. The department collaborated and viewed many instructional videos and patterns to ensure the learning activity would fit the needs and developmentally appropriate skills for our students. In the end, the department offered four types of cloth face mask construction options ranging from basic sewing machine construction to a no-sew option for those short on sewing supplies and/or sewing skills.
Academic Leadership Council member and Pine-Richland Middle School (PRMS) FCS Teacher Erika Graham has been sewing and donating cloth face masks to her community, friends, and family. Her total donation of cloth face masks is over 100 to date. She stated she will continue to make and donate the masks until she runs out of supplies. PRMS FCS Teacher Maria Klingenberg has been working on face masks from kits obtained from local Abram’s Nation, who is donating completed masks to various local community organizations in need.
The department wants to be clear, though, that these cloth masks are no substitute for equipment like N95 respirators, which provide the highest level of protection for front line medical workers treating COVID-19 patients. Handmade cloth masks, especially when well-made from proper materials and snug-fitting, will fulfill the governor’s mandate, and also provide better protection than just a scarf or bandana.