Emporia State students create ‘Mask Trees’ for teachers and students

Local News

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – A group of students at Emporia State University are making it easier for students and staff to get a face mask when they need it.

Students from the Iota Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society, decided to make ‘Mask Trees.’

The idea came from an education professor when they came across a similar take in the United Kingdom. From there, a small group of students made it a reality.

The project started in October of 2020 after members of Kappa Delta Pi won a competition at the University and received $500 to spend on certain items. Kalliope Amos, Bailey Hardie, Alex Reid, and Chelsea Williams made the decision that $380 would go towards the masks.

These ‘Mask Trees’ are all handmade, from the masks to even the stand that it’s on. Bailey Hardie and her dad made all of the stand themselves, while the masks come from a group of volunteers that helped buy and make the reusable masks.

So far, there are 10 trees that have been made each loaded with different designed masks. A tree will be placed in different spots around ESU’s campus, along with every school in the USD #253 Emporia district.

All students involved believe that this was the most creative way to get masks to those who may not be able to afford a new mask and hopes this will make it easier for teachers and students.

“We’re hoping it brings safe and clean masks to people who maybe can’t buy them or always come– I don’t know unprepared maybe but we’re just hoping it brings safe use of the masks” says Bailey Hardie, sophomore at ESU.

“The kids need this, the teachers need this. You have a kid that walks into your classroom, ‘oh my disposable mask broke’ what do you do? If you don’t have that extra PPE on hand, run to the mask tree and grab them a mask” ESU graduate student Chelsea Williams explains.

All 10 trees will be up in school starting January 25, 2021.

Kappa Delta Pi will be accepting mask donations and monetary donations. If you would like to helpe them expand their project in the future, click here.

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