COG Leads Masks for Class Social Media Challenge
COG promotes mask use and provides regional school districts with personal protective equipment.
Chris McKinney (803-774-1984)
October 13, 2020
SUMTER, SC – After brainstorming how to add value to the school districts as the schools prepared to reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, the Santee-Lynches COG created and implemented the Masks for Class Challenge on social media. The intent was threefold. The first goal was to do something tangible to help the schools and the kids to stay safe during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The next goal was to show support to the educators and administrators as they navigated opening schools during the pandemic. The last goal was to support and encourage masks use.
The Masks for Class Challenge encouraged the residents of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter counties to wear a mask and post a photo of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to show support for their school district and garner personal protective equipment (PPE) for their school district. On September 2nd, the COG held the 24-hour social media event where residents wore masks, posted their photos using the hashtags #MasksforClassChallenge and #SanteeLynchesMasksforClassChallenge. For every photo posted, ten (10) masks would be donated up to a maximum of 4000 masks. In addition, each school district would receive 1000 face shields if they desired them. Further, the district with the most photos posted would also receive a free Ultraviolet-C Light (UVC) cleaning from USUCLEAN for one school. This was also intentional to provide one of the districts with the most effective cleaning methods available. The UV light method destroys the ability of bacteria and viruses to replicate. The UVC 254 nanometer bandwidth is highly germicidal. UV light in this spectrum rapidly removes >99% of microbial contamination from the air and on surfaces.
The COG’s Executive Director, Christopher McKinney said, "My team is always evaluating how can we add value to our local area. Our manta is if you add value, you become invaluable. So, we when started supplying PPE to regionally, and made some profits we wanted to utilize the PPE funds to do something pandemic related, because we don't make money for the sake of making money.” The challenge not only provided critical supplies, but it brought the community together in a big way. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were flooded with hundreds of photos in support of the schools and not only did our citizens post pictures, there were lots of words of encouragement and support for our educators. On Friday, September 4th, Clarendon County School District 2 was announced as the winner of the challenge and masks and face shields were delivered to the district by Mr. McKinney and COG staff. The superintendent, Dr. Shawn Johnson, selected the Early Childhood Center for the UVC Light cleaning. The COG not only donated PPE to the winning district, but to all districts including Clarendon 1, Clarendon 3, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter School Districts. They all received masks and face shields for their schools. Mr. McKinney said "We really believe in our schools. First and foremost, our kids are our future and in addition economic development begins in the school system, so we must be intentional to invest in them. Part of our mission is to support regional economic development, so conducting this challenge made perfect sense. This was something we could do to help ourselves and our region." A total of 13,350 masks and 4,000 face shields were donated by the COG and Castle Disposables valued at $12,830 and the UVC Light sterilization valued at $62,340 was donated by USUVClean.
ABOUT SANTEE-LYNCHES REGIONAL COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments is a premier organization committed to equipping our communities to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to collaborate purposely to enhance the quality of life and provide opportunities to advance our region. Santee-Lynches serves the counties and cities of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter. To learn more, visit santeelynchescog.org.
Santee-Lynches COG is a member of the South Carolina Councils of Government (SC COGs). The SC COGs are a network of the 10 regional councils of governments working to positively affect quality of life and economic development in South Carolina. SC COGs serve as an extension of local and county governments to provide technical assistance, secure state and federal dollars to address critical issues, and advocate at a state and national level for economic and quality of life improvements for South Carolina. To learn more, visit sccogs.org or visit santeelynchescog.org.