Sew cool: nurse turns seamstress to deck out graduating class with school spirit face masks
SYDNEY MINES, N.S. -- A high school graduating class in Cape Breton has come up with a unique way to show school spirit during COVID-19.
They enlisted the help of a local woman to make more than a hundred masks and help them show solidarity during this unusual year.
Daelene Aker spends a lot of time in her sewing room at home and usually, she's able to take her time, but that all changed seven days before the first day of school when she got a special request from a student at Memorial High in Sydney Mines.
"I actually laughed," Aker said. "Because that's a week to make more than a hundred masks --that's a lot of masks to make."
But she buckled down and put needle to thread, making more than 120 of these cover-ups for the graduating class of 2021.
"It was amazing," said Grade 12 student Kameron Power. "She made them all in six days and we were able to get them Sunday, for Monday, and I passed them out on the first day of school."
"So the Grade 12 class stormed the school with their green and gold, and I was so proud and humbled," Aker said.
Power says it helped her graduating year start off on the right note.
Instead of being marred by having to wear masks, it helped students express solidarity and school pride.
"It makes me feel really excited to see what the year brings and that I'm going to graduate," Power said. "Just to wear it with my friends, it makes me feel really happy."
Aker has worked for years as a registered nurse, so she says she fully supports the health and safety protocols that are in place, but she sympathizes with students not being able to do much in big groups like in normal graduating years.
"There's not a lot they can do as a group," Aker said. "But wearing a mask, each and every one of them, can do."
And she says she's happy to help faculty, or others attending the school, mask up as well if they're interested.
"If we need more, I'll make more," Aker said. "I did purchase enough material to cover every student in that school if I wanted to."