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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Two HMS Students Launch Mask Campaign for Returning to School

HMS students Kate and Fiona prepare for their latest video as a part of a new social media campaign geared towards mask use. (Img: FTM File)

By Jessie Eden

Two Highlands Middle School students have crated a special mask campaign to help engage with students preparing to return to school this Fall.

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Through a series of Youtube videos, Instagram Stories and TicTok posts, students Kate Fausz and Fiona McIntosh will debut the creative campaign they've been working on at Launch for the past week or so.

"We are so proud of Kate and Fiona for actively engaging their peers on this campaign," said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools. "They proactively scheduled a meeting with me and had done a lot of preparation and research. It was very impressive to see them demonstrate Courageous Leadership and Creative Problem Solving, which are two characteristics of our District's Portrait of a Graduate."

The social media campaign consists of three topics;

- How to make masks comfortable

- Mask Walkthrough - Where to buy them, a scoring guide consisting of ratings on the following; Style, Cost, Performance, Ventilation and Guidelines.

- Mask Fashion Show - Families will be invited to pick a theme and show off their masks with the chance to win a special prize

On Friday, Fort Thomas Independent Schools announced that students could return to school, in-person, five days a week starting on August 26. There is also an option for students to do non-traditional instruction (although it will be different than in the Spring).

A graphic from the mask campaign created by Kate and Fiona.
(Img: Provided)

In a short interview with Kate & Fiona, they explained how the idea started to come together. Check out our Q & A below!

Where did this idea come from?

We got the idea for the social media campaign when we noticed that there was a lack of information about aspects of school re-opening that is easily understood and readable by all age levels of students and a lack of information to make masks more comfortable, where to buy them, and etc. 

By creating these social media pages, we can house all of this information on a place where most students visit multiple times during the day (Instagram) and we can easily spread this information, we thought it would be the perfect way for the district to put and spread information and engage the youth and community.

I saw the outline of your video campaign. How did you think of each topic for each video?

Making Masks Comfortable- One of first very ideas we had thought of was a video on making masks comfortable. After constantly complaining to each other and friends about how itchy, irritating, hot, uncomfortable masks were, we decided we should research ways to make them more pleasant and comfortable and create a video about them. 

Mask Walk-through- We sent out an anonymous google survey to about 20 friends and family members in school with questions such as "Do you have access to multiple masks?" and "Do you know multiple places to purchase masks?" most of the responses were I only have 1-2 and I only know one place. We quickly realized this was a problem and we came up with the idea to do a "walk-through" through 3 different popular stores and show exactly where the masks are found and the different types available. Ultimately, we knew this wasn't enough and decided to purchase one mask from every store and judge it by factors such as style, performance, cost, ventilation, and if it met CDC guidelines. 

Mask Fashion Show- One of the big things we both wanted to be the focus of this whole project is unifying the youth and community, we knew that social media pages definitely help, but everything is more fun when there is a competition. After putting our ideas together, we came up with the FTIS fashion show. This will be a week long competition where families can choose between 1 of 3 themes (tbd) and have their entire family take pictures or videos of walking down the run way and showing their themed outfit and matching mask to pair. 

What do you hope fellow students will understand from this campaign?

"The hope for all of this is for students to just understand everything that students should be expected to know such as mask protocol in a way that all students no matter age, reading level, etc. can understand. But we also want to stress the importance of comfort, that's been a big word the whole time, we want all students to have access to making everything from mask wearing, to finding ways to not be anxious, and more." 

Which part of the project are you most interested in or excited about?

"I think that we are both most excited to finally see the end result, see the posts we planned on making, watch the videos, and hear the feedback from other students and the community." 

"What I am most looking forward to when going back to school is getting to meet new teachers and socialize! (Even if it will have to be 6ft away from each other) I am hoping these videos and all the work we are doing will be able to get the attention of the community to where masks! I am also hoping that these videos will get people to understand how masks do not have to be uncomfortable!"
Anything else you'd like to add about the project?

"We are planning on having much more than just videos, look out for dances about washing hands, songs, and more!"

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