Jack and Jill delivers 1,050 masks to Grove Park Elementary

Organization of future African American leaders help students stay safe

By Bruce Hope bruce@opcfla.com
Posted 11/4/20

ORANGE PARK – Just when Grove Park Elementary School in Orange Park was running low on masks, Jack and Jill of America came to the rescue.

The organization arrived at the school on Thursday, …

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Jack and Jill delivers 1,050 masks to Grove Park Elementary

Organization of future African American leaders help students stay safe

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Just when Grove Park Elementary School in Orange Park was running low on masks, Jack and Jill of America came to the rescue.

The organization arrived at the school on Thursday, Oct. 29, and donated 1,050 masks to help the school remain compliant in their locally and federally mandated protected measures against the COVID-19 virus. Mariah Spassoff, Assistant Principal at Grove Park, was there to receive the donation.

“Our community has stepped up and made sure that we have the most protective gear possible,” said Spassoff. “We can make sure all of our teachers and even our students have the opportunity to be safe and wear the masks. Sometimes students bring masks, and they either break or sometimes they forget them. We can always have them available if they need a backup.”

Jack and Jill of America is an organization dedicated to creating future African American leaders by developing leadership and service through volunteering and giving.

Dr. Chanda Nicole Holsey is a community service committee member of Jack and Jill and a Clay County resident. She came up with the mask drive idea and helped organize the donations to both Grove Park and Charles E. Bennett Elementary schools.

“I’m very committed to the community and very involved, and I knew that Grove Park Elementary was a title one school [a school that serves high numbers of economically disadvantaged children] and also Charles E. Bennett was a title one school that could use our services,” said Holsey. “I’ve come to Grove Park Elementary a couple of times to talk to their Gator Girls community. Also, the principal of the school is my sorority sister [Delta Sigma Theta], so I was able to connect with her that way.”

The mask drive included Title 1 schools in Jacksonville and Clay County.

“Within our organization, we have about 60 moms,” said Tavianna Sanders, the community service chair of the Jacksonville Chapter. “What we did was, come up with a total. We wanted to collect a total of 5,200 masks. We divided the number up by the number of moms we had. Many of the moms donated a minimum of 85 masks. Most moms donated even more.”

Eventually, the desired number of masks was able to be collected for donation.

In Clay County, grades 3-12 are required to masks, and grades K-2 are strongly recommended. All adults are also wearing masks. Spassoff says that the school was getting low, probably down to their last couple of boxes.

“This makes it less worrisome for us, for if we run out what are going to do,” said Spassoff. “We don’t have to bug parents; we can just grab one from the box.”

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