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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

‘We Wear The Mask’: West Side Kids Star In Music Video To Remind People That Masks Protect Others

"We said about 10 million times, 'Put your mask up over your nose.' It felt like maybe there was a better way to do it," a Marillac St. Vincent Family Services program manager said.

Group from Marillac St. Vincent Family Services Working On the We Wear The Mask video.
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GARFIELD PARK — Staff at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services wrote a catchy song and made a music video to remind kids to mask up.

The kids at the West Side nonprofit were excited to return after a pause in youth programming due to the coronavirus pandemic — but they need to be reminded often to wear their masks. Staff for the organization’s Hope Jr. program for children and teens hope the song can make it easier for them to remember.

“We said about 10 million times, ‘Put your mask up over your nose.’ It felt like maybe there was a better way to do it,” said Deanna Hallagan, who manages the Hope Jr. program. “It’s the idea of trying to make a difficult situation a little more fun.”

Now when staffers say the name of the song, “We Wear the Mask,” the kids eagerly cover their faces and sing lines from the tune, Hallagan said.

Watch the music video here:

Youth counselor Jacari Brown performed the song. The team recorded the song and music video with the Hope Jr. kids so they could take pride in helping to spread a message that will make everybody safer.

The children were excited to record with Brown in the organization’s new studio, he said, and they enjoyed the hands-on experience of putting together a music video.

“Everybody was happy to hear their voice in the video,” Brown said.

The feedback within Marillac St. Vincent has been overwhelmingly positive, Brown said, and the kids are hoping their message will impact people in the broader community by helping them understand why wearing a mask is so important.

The lyrics, written by Hallagan, are a reminder for the kids that wearing a mask isn’t just about their own safety. The lyrics emphasize public health guidance that it’s important to wear a mask to protect those who may be more vulnerable, like teachers and grandparents, the lyrics said.

“The message coming from young people is probably the most effective,” Hallagan said. “These are our kids and the kids need to know that we’re there to support them in that we want them to be well, and we want the world to be well.”

Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.

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