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Inspiring Ways Our Community Is Helping During the Pandemic

In March, our school donated materials from our science department and the nurses' offices – masks, gloves, face shields, Lysol wipes, and goggles – to Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack. A second donation of goggles was donated to University Hospital in Newark. This effort was coordinated by Science Department Chair Jane Zagajeski with the help of school nurses Betsy Tyras and Desere Diaz.

Arts Department Chair Amelia Gold worked with her husband, Dr. Brian Benson, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, to make sure the first donation got into the right hands. “Besides staying home to help flatten the curve, our school community hopes that donating these supplies helps to protect those fighting on the front line,” says Tyras. 
In between teaching classes via remote learning, seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher Annie Rasiel has spent time sewing cloth masks (more than 30 to date) and sending them to friends, family, and coworkers. Although they are not medical-grade, “they’re comfortable, machine-washable, and better than nothing,” Rasiel says. “They even have a little pocket for filters.”

And Samantha Morra, Middle School Technology Integrator, has been 3D printing surgical mask ear saver straps that are approximately 6 inches. The file she is 3D printing was approved by the National Institute of Health. The straps keep the face mask elastic from rubbing healthcare workers’ ears raw by taking pressure off their ears and allowing adjustments for a more comfortable fit. Morra plans to deliver the straps to Englewood Health in Englewood and Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains.
Are you extending a helping hand to those around you during this time of social distancing? We would love to hear how your family is making a difference and to share your story with our community. Please email Associate Director of Content Strategy and Storytelling Laura Adams Stiansen.

  • Remote Learning/Social Distancing