Bella+Canvas, Serena Williams Team Up With National School Boards Association and Scholastic to Bring Millions of Masks and COVID Safety Education to Children
As 115,000 schools across the nation plan their reopening strategy over the next six months, Bella+Canvas, Los Angeles, has launched an initiative to support more than 54 million kids getting back into classrooms safely, partnering with the National School Boards Association (NBSA) and Scholastic to provide CDC-approved educational resources. Philanthropist and professional tennis player Serena Williams has also joined on to help promote awareness and education around this program and the resources it provides.
With the capabilities to produce more than 10 million masks a day, Bella+Canvas will provide free and discounted access to breathable, comfortable face masks—distributing masks quickly at a massive scale to 115,000 schools nationwide. In addition, it has partnered with Scholastic to create age-appropriate educational resources around the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and protocols for educators and administrators for staying safe during COVID-19.
Bella+Canvas and Serena Williams have pledged to donate a minimum of 4.25 million masks—the number of students living below the poverty line—working with the National School Boards Association to distribute them to schools most in need.
"Public schoolchildren living at or below the poverty level face many challenges that the pandemic has only exacerbated," said Anna Maria Chávez, NSBA's executive director and CEO. "We greatly appreciate Bella+Canvas and Serena Williams' support and investment in their safety and continued education."
"We wanted to create a comprehensive solution to help support those returning to school, and provide easy access to masks and free educational material when schools open," said Bella+Canvas co-owner and co-CEO Marco DeGeorge. "While we are committed to donating at least 4.25 million masks, our goal is to increase that amount exponentially through the support of other organizations that want to help. We are honored to partner with Serena on the #MasksForKids program. In addition to being a champion on the court, Serena is a champion off the court as an entrepreneur, role model and philanthropist. Serena shares Bella+Canvas's passion of supporting underserved communities, and together we will bring education and support to 13,000 + schools districts through the #MasksForKids program."
"Getting back to school safely this fall means having a mask to wear," Williams said. "I am really excited to be teaming up with Bella+Canvas as we donate a mask to every single student who attends an underserved school in our country—that's 4.25 million masks! The #MasksForKids program is a resource for every school to access affordable masks, and is also providing educational materials about masks to all 115,000 schools and 54 million students in the U.S. I'm grateful to be able to help educate our schools about this resource, and to be given the opportunity to serve so many students."
Any school with enrollment below the poverty line will be eligible to receive a donation of masks. In addition, Bella+Canvas will offer all schools access to masks at a significant 50 percent discount. Masks are available in nine colors and multiple sizes to fit students, teachers and staff. For more information visit www.masksforkids.com.
For more information on Bella+Canvas, visit www.bellacanvas.com.