From Maplewood Recreation:
Orchard Park has become a little more colorful with signs made by our residential youth. Local parents of the neighborhood reached out to the Maplewood Recreation Department to see if children could contribute to the education of wearing masks in the park.
“Thank you for protecting me family” & “I want to go back to school, please wear a mask” are some of the inspiring messages, these local tots have depicted in their signage. One sign even goes as far as to give diagrams of how not to wear a mask.
Melissa Mancuso, Director of Community Services states, “After speaking at length with local parents, I wanted our department to help residents feel more comfortable with allowing their children to play in the parks with the proper usage of PPE. We worked alongside children and parents of Orchard Park to create more accessible signs for our youth and parkgoers that masks are essential in winning the battle against COVID.”
In future months, Maplewood Recreation will be asking residents throughout all Maplewood parks to create these signs as well. “We are so grateful to all the children and adults that participated and think this is an amazing way to get our community involved while reminding our residents to Mask Up!,” says Mancuso, “Keep a look out for our eblasts and photos on our website depicting more local artwork!”
As one of the organizers of this initiative, resident and mother in the Orchard Park area, Susannah Adler Bochner, says “Many of us have relied on our local playgrounds as a source of socialization and exercise for our kids during this pandemic. Unfortunately, mask compliance has been inconsistent, at best. Many of our children have come to understand the tremendous importance of wearing masks and see this as a selfless act that protects our community, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. I wanted an opportunity for our compassionate youth to convey this message and what it means to them. Sometimes sentiments that come from children have the most powerful impact. Thank you to all that participated! Your words are seen and heard.”