Willoughby-Eastlake Schools steps up during a crisis

Willoughby April
Willoughby-Eastlake Schools partnered with Lake Health Foundation and MakerGear to create face shields for frontline medical workers.

By Patricia Nugent

In the galvanizing wake of Covid-19, the top three hashtags popping up on Instagram have been #allinthistogether, #wegotthis and #helpingothers.

In this brave spirit of cohesiveness and selflessness, we are all rising to the occasion.

Last month when the need spiked for protective equipment for those medical workers on the frontlines at Lake Health Hospital, Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools partnered with Lake Health Foundation and MakerGear to create and produce personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields within its FabLabs.

The shields are simple in design and cut on our Epilog lasers while the headbands can be produced on the 3D printers andassembled in the labs. Clear, curved plastic is suspended in front of the face from a headband. They help stop bodily fluids or droplets from reaching the wearer’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Through the collaboration with MakerGear and local distributors of material, it was possible to create a template for the shields and begin production. Currently, district staff members are working to create about 150 shields per day to meet the expected demand during the surge of Covid-19 in the community.

“I am proud of our staff members and honored to be able to serve our frontline professionals,” says Steve Thompson, superintendent, Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools. “The ability to assist during the pandemic is an incredible opportunity. Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools will do all that we can to support our families and these agencies during this difficult time. It is my personal belief that by working together and supporting one another, we will minimize the harmful effects of Covid-19 to our community. We are here to help.”

In addition to partnering to produce the shields, the school district is also lending a hand by providing food to families that are in need in the community. Twice a week, parents with children in the district can pull up to the food distribution center at North High School and receive breakfast and lunch for each child.

On the first two days of lunch distribution, the district was able to feed approximately 350 families per day. These meals included milk, fresh vegetables, sandwiches, chips, cereal and fruit.

Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades k-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. For details, visit WESchools.org.