Ms. Davis’ second-grade class. Back row: Rebelle H., Emily M., Jason S. and  Anthony S. Second row: Paloma M., Ryan M., Jasmin C., Leandro W., Savannah H. and Katia G. First row: Brekelle R., Avery M., Darlene H., Lauren C. and Sarah C.

The Office of Maricopa County School Superintendent recently teamed up with the Phoenix Suns to distribute over 17,000 face masks to Valley schools, including Tavan Elementary. 

Joshua Chilton, the community outreach coordinator for the Maricopa County Superintendent’s Office, visited the school in January to donate a free, reusable mask to every student and staff member. 

Ellen Young, the administrative support coordinator at Tavan, said the school was excited to hear about the opportunity, and the students were eager to use their new masks. 

“It was like Christmas morning – everyone was ecstatic! It’s so fun to see them all wearing the same mask and know that our community and county school superintendent is thinking about them and wanting to help keep them safe,” Young said. “We do our best to provide masks to students who need them, but this was something for our entire site that provided a little more joy and gave them the knowledge that they are a priority.” 

The Wildcats have been staying safe and focusing on their learning with the masks, which feature the Phoenix Suns logo. The black, silver and purple masks allow students to represent their hometown NBA team and help stop the spread of COVID to ensure schools can stay open. 

“It’s so important for those children who need in-person school to have that opportunity, and collectively, our students know the importance of staying safe and healthy so that we can all be in-person together,” Young said. “We are always so grateful for amazing community partnerships that put our students and staff first.”

The staff said that seeing the students so happy after a challenging year was an incredible feeling for those who want the entire school to stay safe so they can enjoy their education as much as possible. This kind of community support plays a significant role in student success.

“We truly love all of the businesses and community members that lend a helping hand or help to put a smile on our students’ faces,” Young said. “It is so important for surrounding community members to get to know their neighborhood school and learn what kind of a difference they can make in a child’s life, especially right now.”