By CHERYL ALDEN,Contributor
Members of the Vandegrift Health Through Science club partnered with a mask manufacturer and donated 800 face masks and mask straps to Leander ISD last week.
June Lee, VHS Health Through Science vice president, contacted Armbrust American, a Pflugerville mask manufacturer, about a partnership to support low-income families in the district who are preparing to send students back to school.
“COVID-19 tests the strength of our community’s support,” said Lee. “We need to support each other and help in any way that we can.”
Last week on Aug. 25, Lee and other VHS Health Through Science members Alec Alden, Aidan Tran, Nihal Kyasa, and Hayden Warren delivered masks to nine LISD E-Learner Curbside middle school locations.
The masks were distributed to families with their meals by the district’s Child Nutrition Services employees who provide food for students and families in need during the midst of the pandemic.
The Health Through Science volunteers also distributed washable, reusable mask straps that convert ear loops into head or neck straps.
“Not everyone can comfortably wear standard face masks with ear loops,” said Alden, president of VHS Health Through Science. He based the design on swim goggle straps. “Right now, it is difficult to find masks without ear loops, particularly disposable masks.”
Supplies to make an adjustable strap: 16 inches of elastic cord and a toggle, like the ones found on string backpacks or hoodies.
“It makes masks more comfortable for some, but it is also a quick way to size a mask up or down,” Alden said.
VHS Health Through Science is a health-based advocacy organization led by high school students across Austin. Volunteers mentor elementary students in science and attend community events to showcase healthy living exhibits approved by Dell Medical School pediatricians. In addition, the group sponsors citywide talks on health issues for high school students, as well as administering special awards for elementary students at the Austin Energy Regional Science Fair.