This spring, the windows in the main hallway of La Salle are filled with smiling faces and inspiring sayings.
“You matter,” says a poster featuring a girl grinning on a tire swing.
"Because we love you," says another bearing a photo of a gray-haired woman sitting with a dog on her lap - and another on her shoulder.
The posters are part of the La Salle’s Mask & 6 Project, which the school launched as students started returning to campus this spring. The project involved design teacher Carie Coleman creating posters of the loved ones students and staff said they wanted to keep safe by following pandemic-related safety protocols, such as wearing masks and keeping a distance from others of at least six feet - the minimum safe distance prescribed by health officials up until a few weeks ago.
"It’s important we remember who we are masking up and maintaining distance for," said Brian Devine, Vice Principal of Student Life. "It isn't just because the Centers for Disease Control is telling us, it isn't just because our parents are telling us. We are doing it because we all have people in our lives that we are trying to keep safe."
The campaign stemmed from a suggestion by religious studies teacher Tom McLaughlin, who said he wanted to inspire everyone at La Salle to take precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. He created a poster featuring several of his relatives — including his wife, mother and daughter — and suggested the school make and hang similar posters of people important to students and staff members.
"We all have people we love, and probably some of them are especially vulnerable to COVID," he said. “Let's do all we can, out of love, to protect them as well as ourselves.”
Now the school’s main hallway is filled with faces of pets, parents, and others close to Lasallians' hearts.
Among them is Gretchen Heth, the grandmother of Brooke Heth '21 and Allison Heth '21.
“Seeing her on the walls of the school is amazing,” said Brooke, "because the picture reminds me of why I’m doing what I’m doing.”