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St. Basil students donate more than 350 masks to local non-profits

Students from ACE life skills class work together to make masks for people in need
10-27-2020-StBasilMaskDonationJH01
The ACE class at St. Basil Catholic Elementary School donated more than 350 hand-made masks to three local non-profit organizations Tuesday. Left to right: Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen Community Centre General Manager Ron Sim, ACE educational assistant Melinda Boulard, ACE student Destiny Dubois and ACE student Kayla Bentrovato. James Hopkin/SooToday

More than 350 masks will go to community members in need, thanks to the work of students in the ACE class at St. Basil Catholic Elementary School. 

The masks, hand-made by students, are being donated to Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen Community Centre, St. Vicent Place and Pauline's Place as part of an ongoing commitment by the life skills class to give back to the community in some way each year. 

Melinda Boulard, who has served as an educational assistant for the ACE for nearly three decades, says that ACE students usually make a community contribution through cooking and baking for others.  

“We can’t cook and bake yet with COVID, so we’re going to serve them on our platters,” she said.

Two ACE students, Destiny Dubois and Kayla Bentrovato, helped Boulard present the masks to the non-pofit organizations outside of St. Basil Wednesday.

“We have 12 students in our class, so they’re all at different levels - somebody might measure out for the elastics, some will trace the size of the mask,” Boulard said. 

“You know what, this is great - especially coming from our younger population,” said Ron Sim, general manager of Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen Community Centre. “These are going to be our leaders in the future, and what a great start.”

“Many of our guests do not have the money to purchase masks, so these are going to go a long way to helping to ensure that everybody has a mask for wherever they may have to go.”

St. Basil Principal Fil Lettieri says his school is the only one in the Sault that's a member of the 'Leader in Me' leadership program, and the work in the community being done by students in the ACE class is a prime example of what the school is trying to achieve with its student population.   

“We teach the kids about the seven habits of being an effective leader,” said Lettieri “This class always exemplifies our mission statement, which is to be a leader like Jesus, and so by looking for opportunities to use their strengths, to use their skills, those habits to serve others, they model that leadership for our whole community.”