Rockwood School District staff members are donating protective goggles, like those students wear in science classes, to medical personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 coronavirus.
One of Rockwood's four high schools, Marquette, is donating about 220 pairs of protective eyewear to Barnes Jewish Hospital emergency health care workers in St Louis.
Lisa Del Pizzo teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology and AP Biology at Marquette. Del Pizzo said the donation came about through a relationship with Barnes cardiologist Dr. Sharon Cresci. Cresci spoke at the Marquette Future Health Professionals "Medtalks" event in February.
"Recently, Sharon reached out to me asking if Marquette had any safety goggles or glasses that we could donate to the hospital," said Del Pizzo. "I contacted principal Dr. Steve Hankins and district science coordinator Dr. Meghan Bray, and what resulted is this coordinated, districtwide effort on the part of multiple Rockwood Schools."
Del Pizzo said the effort will not deprive goggles from Rockwood students. Many Rockwood schools are in various stages of STEM additions and renovations. With each new STEM lab comes new safety goggles.
"Many of the teachers who are a part of the STEM initiative agreed to donate their current safety goggles since theirs will be replaced along with the new facilities," said Del Pizzo. "We are happy to help our health care providers in any way possible. It is a small gesture to show that Marquette and the entire Rockwood community are thankful and appreciative of all they are doing to take care of ill people during this pandemic."
At Rockwood Valley Middle, science department chair and seventh grade teacher Sheila McCart is one of many district middle and high school science staff members who were on the receiving end of the district call for protective eyewear.
"I immediately jumped on board with the idea, knowing that with the temporary schools closure, our goggles were sitting idly in our classrooms," said McCart. "All the science teachers were supportive and principal Dr. Karen Hedrick boxed the goggles up for us and got them to the administrator coordinating the effort. I can't think of a better cause to donate to at this time. Whatever we can do to help!"