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At Boys and Girls Clubs in Billings, kids taking mask requirement in stride

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Posted at 9:49 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 23:49:55-04

As Billings schools prepare to open in a couple of weeks, one big question is: How will kids do wearing masks?

One concern is how tough it will be to keep students masked up, especially young kids in the elementary grades who may not understand the importance of facial coverings.

At the Boys and Girls Clubs in Billings, the experience of masks and kids has been all positive so far, with the kids proving they're up to the task.

"I was worried about it, I've got to be honest," said President & CEO Brian Dennis. "But the kids have really, really blown what I was expecting away. They've really done a nice job."

At both of its open clubhouses in Billings, masks have been required for all Boys and Girls Club members, staff, and volunteers since last week, when Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued his statewide directive.

Dennis reports only minor issues with the new policy, mostly dealing with kids trying to get their mask to fit right. The club staff is also helping one club member who has asthma concerns.

A letter was sent to all club parents last week to explain the new mask policy, asking parents to help their child understand the importance of the new safety precaution.

"We've been real intentional about how we plan our day, give them a chance to get outside, take their mask off every hour or so," said Dennis. "We've been trying some different things, and the kids have just taken it in stride."

Dennis said the hardest part for him has been to remember to take his mask with him, wherever he goes.