MedThreads Volunteers Nashville to make masks for Eakin Elementary School students

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — They say it takes a village.

In this case, it’s taking an entire community to combat the coronavirus and the work is already being done in Nashville.

Hundreds of volunteers, with the group MedThreads Volunteers Nashville are working to make pediatric masks for Eakin Elementary students.

Though MNPS schools will start their school year off virtually and will be supplied with PPE through the district, Eakin Elementary’s Principal, Eric Hartfelder, said these masks will be extremely helpful down the line.

“We know with little kids you’re going to need a lot of masks,” Hartfelder said. “They’ll get dirty, you need ways to clean them and have extra for kids.”

Lori Gann-Smith, an administrator with MedThreads Volunteers Nashville said the group plans to make at least 1,000 masks for the students.

“This is the biggest order we’ve had for the pediatric masks,” she said. “It’s been nice to feel like we’re making a difference.”

She’s been cutting, folding, pinning, stitching on repeat, like clockwork, since late March.

The group now has more than 800 members. They’ve made more than 12,000 masks for essential workers. Recently, the group decided to branch out to students, after a parent in the group contacted Hartfelder.

Now, the tough part will be making sure the kiddos wear the masks and properly.

“Everything is a teaching opportunity and while we’re used to having to teach them standards now we’re going to teach them how to wear a mask,” Hartfelder said. “We have to be kind and have that educator perspective and not just teach them compliance but why because there’s a lot of opportunity to be teaching kids about civic good and thinking of others.”

In addition to the masks provided by MedThreads, Hartfelder said MNPS will provide PPE to schools in the district.

“You cant do it alone,” Hartfelder said. “MNPS well come out of this on the right side with even more pride and even more love for our city.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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