Local teacher starts “Show Your Smile” campaign, raises money to provide face shields for students


ST. MARYS, Pa. (WTAJ) — A St. Marys teacher is finding a way to make sure her students will be comfortable should they have to wear facial coverings this fall.

Heather Kojancic is a first grade teacher at South St. Marys Street Elementary School. She said the recent order from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for students to wear masks made her worry about her students.

“When the mask requirement came out, it did make me a little bit nervous because I just couldn’t picture my little ones wearing masks all day, and I had anxiety about it so I thought maybe a shield would be better,” said Heather Kojancic, 1st Grade Teacher at South St. Marys Street Elementary School.

Last week, she started a “Show Me Your Smile” campaign to raise money for face shields for her students. Kojancic says the shields would allow her to interact with her kids better.

“I want them to be able to see my smile and then as a teacher, I want see their smile, or their frown to know if they’re happy, if they’re mot happy so I can best meet their needs,” Kojancic said.

“I teach kids how to read and with that comes Phonics and a lot of how to make sounds with your mouth appropriately so I need them to be able to see my mouth making these sounds.”

Kojancic says she needed to raise 161 dollars, and it only took half a day for her to reach that goal.

She has also inspired other teachers and colleagues to adopt the idea.

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