FRANKFORT, Ky. — Making sure kids returning to classrooms have the personal protection they need is the mission of a new program announced by First Lady Britainy Beshear Tuesday.

"Coverings for Kids" lets Kentuckians donate facial coverings to local school districts.

“As a mom, nothing is more important to me than protecting each one of Kentucky’s children, as well as the teachers and staff who work hard every day to help them learn and grow,” said First Lady Beshear. “Kentuckians generosity is unmatched, and during this pandemic this program will help ensure each school has enough masks to protect their students and staff.”

The First Lady and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman unveiled the program to school districts during a Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) web meeting with superintendents.

Each district will choose how the donated masks and coverings are distributed. Most districts plan to give the coverings to kids who may need extra coverings. Donations will also be provided to teachers. 

“One of my top priorities throughout this pandemic has been to safely reopen our schools,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I am incredibly proud of how Kentuckians are stepping up to protect each other and slow the spread of COVID-19 and I am proud of Britainy for stepping up to ensure all of our children have access to face coverings we know are vital to saving lives and reopening our schools.”

Each school district will set up donation centers and name local coordinators. Each district will have a donation tracking form for taking in donations and an outreach packet that will include language, graphics, drafted social media posts, and emails for promotion. 

School districts starting the year with non-traditional instruction (NTI) or move to NTI during the year can still participate in the "Coverings for Kids" program.  

“I’m an educator who trusts educators. We want to provide each district with resources and guidance while still giving them the flexibility to make sure these coverings are going where they’re most needed at any given time,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

Masks and coverings for children and adults are accepted and can either be purchased or homemade. Donations can be dropped off beginning Tuesday, Aug. 11 at district donation centers. The locations will be announced soon.