Massapequa Students Make Masks For Seniors

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Massapequa High School German language student James Benjamin made masks for staff residents at the Plattduetsche Retirement Home in Franklin Square. (Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Students in German language classes at Massapequa High School recently did their part to promote health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. They made masks for staff and residents at the Plattduetsche Retirement Home, a German-American senior housing complex in Franklin Square—the twist: the instructions were in German.

World language teachers Dean Guarnaschelli and Brigitte Kahn wanted to promote students’ German Language education while giving back to the community during a time of crisis. The teachers said the school closure presented an opportunity for Massapequa’s German language students to reach out to local German-American seniors through a community service project while also maintaining social distancing. 

Siblings James and Emma Reilly worked together to make masks for German-American seniors and their caregivers.

Guarnaschelli found the German language mask directions online. The instructions, similar to a stencil cut, was easy to follow and didn’t even require a sewing machine. 

“Being in online school-mode, we wanted to stay culturally relevant,” Guarnaschelli said. “In these moments we seek out anything we can possibly do.”

Different grade levels participated. This kind act also helps students work toward their Honor Society goals. 

“It was two-fold,” Kahn said. “It helped students with their German and it was community service. It made them feel so good to help.”

Students made the masks at home, with more than 100 delivered to Plattduetsche in early May.

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