A GoFundMe effort to pay for safety supplies for Columbia Public School District teachers returning to classes next week hopes to raise $1,000.
The effort has raised $386 as of 7:30 pm Friday.
Rebecca Shaw, a co-leader of CoMo for Progress, started the fundraiser Thursday after teachers told her they needed additional safety supplies, she said. The school board voted Monday to send elementary students back to classes four days a week.
DogMaster Distillery offered to donate about 100 gallons of hand sanitizers to the schools, said Van Hawxby, who owns the establishment.
All donations must be approved and distributed by the district office, said Michelle Baumstark, Columbia Public School District spokesperson.
“We absolutely continue to welcome our community support,” she said.
All district employees received masks provided by the district or the State Emergency Management Agency, said Baumstark.
Baumstark sent an email Friday detailing a number of supplies purchased since March, including 30,000 disposable masks and 3,000 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer. Buses have cleaning sanitizer materials aboard and all “high-touch surfaces in the classroom and throughout the building will be continuously cleaned,” according to the email.
The community has donated an additional 750 masks and the State Emergency Management Agency provided the district with 80,000 masks including 4,000 child sized masks, Baumstark said in the email.
“We believe we’re ready to go,” Baumstark told the Missourian on Friday.
MacKenzie Everette-Kennedy, a Hickman High School English teacher, said she is grateful for the local support.
“Teachers are nervous about going back to school, especially now, the COVID numbers are on the rise,” Everette-Kennedy said. “We need a little bit more from the communities right now.”