CLINTON, IA. – July 24, 2020 – Understanding the challenges faced by many schools across the state of Iowa and wanting to lend support, LyondellBasell recently donated 3200 facial shields to teachers and staff members as they prepare to return back to school in the fall.
Superintendents like Gary DeLacy of the Clinton Community School District believe the facial shields are vital to educators.
“In an instructive setting being able to see your teacher’s face is important,” said DeLacy. “The ability to read one’s face or lips in language development is critical. There is a social-emotional aspect that a face shield provides when you can see someone’s whole face, versus just their eyes in a facial cover.”
Sharon Roling, Principal, St. Joseph Catholic School agrees. With special needs students in her school, face shields are critical to student’s development.
“Face shields protect our staff while allowing students to see facial expressions, which are so important when building and maintaining relationships with students,” said Roling. “Those nonverbal signs are equally as important as words.”
For teachers and staff who work with younger students, the face shields also help with literacy instruction.“We have students who receive special services for speech and other students who are hearing impaired. For these students especially, face shields help to level the playing field for their learning by being able to read lips, something unobtainable in a facial covering.”
Schools across Iowa are trying to find the proper balance between achieving a safe and comprehensive educational experience and meeting the safety expectations of the Iowa Department of Education.
Classified as an essential industry during COVID-19, LyondellBasell understands these challenges well.
“We know all too well that having the right tools for the job is critical, especially when it comes to people’s health and safety during a pandemic,” said Yarelis Hernandez, site manager. “Having the proper personal protective equipment continues to be critical in the fight against COVID-19, and LyondellBasell is proud to join forces with our local educators to help keep them and their students safe.”