Davenport Public Schools is a small, rural school system situated between Stroud and Chandler on U.S. Route 66. Students have been attending classes uninterrupted for nine weeks, “thank God,” says principal Misty Emmons.
“We've actually had a good start this year,” Emmons said. “We’re really grateful for that.”
Emmons said the school system was also grateful for a $2,297 donation from the Sac and Fox Nation toward the purchase of personal protective equipment, or PPE. That equipment will help ensure the school can continue operating amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, Emmons said.
“We're definitely very appreciative of it. It will provide us with materials that we might struggle to get if the funds were not there,” Emmons said. “We can provide more masks and hand sanitizer and clorox wipes for our desks and computers, antibacterial spray. Just all the necessities we've had to add to our normal, everyday supplies for school.”
The donation accounted for part of $19,594 given in total to five school districts in the Sac and Fox Nation’s tribal jurisdiction, according to a press release. North Rock Creek, Stroud, and Oak Grove Public Schools each received $5,000, while Ripley and Davenport Public Schools received $2,297 each.
Oak Grove Superintendent Jamie Cargill said the funds have widened her school system’s options for the athletics season, even.
“We can maybe invest in a fogging machine that can disinfect the place after everyone leaves after a basketball game, if we go through with basketball this year,” Cargill said. “I’m not saying that’s what we’ll spend it on, but it’s opened up some thought processes that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
Cargill echoed Emmons’ sentiment regarding everyday, basic PPE.
“We've gotten some cloth masks from the state, but when you're handing those out to kids, those don't tend to last long. We have some gloves, but we’re going to need more of those,” Cargill said. “We need some thermometers. Some of the things we've had to do without, it's going to make it easier to get some of those things.”
Cargill said such generosity was emblematic of the Sac and Fox Nation.
“They're just very easy to work with,” Cargill said. “They're very good to local schools around them. We’re very grateful for them. Sac and Fox is always very good to help with several different things.”
Sac and Fox Nation Principal Chief Justin F. Wood said the tribe was pleased to help local school systems.
“The Sac and Fox Nation is happy to support our local schools. It is critical our schools have access to personal protective equipment,” Wood said. “The Sac and Fox Nation is committed to keeping our children safe and protecting our communities. We will continue to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”