Local mom aims to provide clear face masks to students | KAALTV.com

Local mom aims to provide clear face masks to students

Devin Martin
Updated: September 02, 2020 06:43 PM
Created: September 02, 2020 06:26 PM

(ABC 6 News) - It’s something that all of us have had to get used to for a while now, wearing a face mask.

While there are a few different options out there, one mom in our area is looking to make a difference with her own idea.

"You know the benefits of clear masks are really endless,” Kala Koch, organizer of See Smiles said.

Kala Koch is a mom of two boys and one of them is about to start preschool. She says although he is not required to wear a mask, she worries about the social and emotional barriers of him seeing others in masks.

Which is why she came up with an idea -- clear face masks.  The purpose of her organization -- See Smiles -- is simply to have teachers and students see each other smile through their face masks, something that hasn't been seen in some time. 

“I think the benefits of being able to see each other’s faces and smile at one another is the priority,” Koch said. “It's just important for clear communication especially from the teachers."

However, seeing smiles isn't the only benefit.

Clear Wave Hearing Center in Rochester helps patients with hearing loss and operations manager Paul Schneider says clear face masks have their benefits.

 "A clear face mask allows the observer to witness the lips motions. These lips give away ques for better word understanding like bath, Dave, save and gave,” Schneider said. “Now when the listener can see the lips and hear at the same time and the brain is able to figure out what words are being said.”

Something that is critical for a growing 4-year-old and something she hopes the community can benefit from.

 "With suppliers and finding the right highest quality has been really important and building relationships with these suppliers have been really helpful for me to be able to take the money that's raised and get as many masks as possible distributed to the schools,” Koch said.

Kala Koch is also currently fundraising for the Wabasha-Kellogg school district where fundraising is underway to make clear face masks a realty for the district.

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