Audubon Elementary School secretary Sarah Lee said educators and students want to spread as much positivity as possible, and one teacher there has figured out a way to help teach kids while also helping them to show pride in their work.

Mackenzie Skaggs, Audubon special education teacher for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, started a mask holder workshop for her students, in which they decorate and “sell” beaded lanyards that masks can be clipped to.

Skaggs created a Google form that was sent to all staff in the building who were interested in receiving a mask holder. Staff members were able to choose which colors they wanted, and whether or not the holders would have their names on them.

Her students spend about 30 minutes a day working on the mask holders, which Skaggs said helps them with their fine motor skills by placing the beads on string. She also knows that when kids make something for someone else, they take pride in that work.

Skaggs then seized another opportunity to use this mask holder workshop as a lesson in money handling.

She and her assistants then passed out fake money to the staff members who ordered the mask holders. They were $2 each, and some staff members received that exact amount, and others received more. Her students went around and collected the money, and made change for those who needed it.

“The money also helped them to learn social skills and social interactions,” Skaggs said.

Her students love the tasks. Some of them are able to make several mask holders, and others are still working on their first one, but all of them are happy to participate and create the product for an Audubon staff member, Skaggs said.

“I can tell kids are benefiting greatly from this,” she said. “Even if they aren’t enjoying it completely, they are getting that practice and it shows.”

Plus, this personalizes the masks and makes them stylish, commented Lee.

“Everyone has to wear a mask now, so why not wear them with some student-created bling,” she said.

She added that allowing the students to sell their hard work “is just another way to help them learn how to socially interact with others.”

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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