CAMDEN, NJ — Both a history lesson and a lesson in safety.

The Camden County Council for Young Children (CCCYC) on Thursday gifted the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) 400 children’s face masks and copies of “My Kente Mask.”

The book, by authors Dr. Juanita White and her husband George H. White, III, share the Ghanaian origins of kente cloth - retrofitted into nifty masks to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.    

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“We wanted to increase the awareness of the mask-wearing with young people and thereby hopefully their parents as well,” said White, who has roots in Camden.

Besides being a former employee of Community Planning & Advocacy Council (CPAC), she continues to help the nonprofit, which is under contract with the county.

White said she hopes the mask/book donation inspires local entrepreneurs to make their own and launch a small business. 

“We are extremely grateful for the kindness and generosity shown here by Dr. and Mr. White,” said Camden Police Chief Joe Wysocki. “Our officers will be taking these books out into the community and getting them into the hands of families and children in the city. This will not only give them a colorful mask that they can wear, but reinforce the positive message throughout their home that this is a life-saving measure for our residents.”

The CCCYC, an advisory council, allows parents, caregivers and community members to partner and collaborate on issues that impact the community. 

Also in attendance Thursday: Capt. Zak James, Lt. Gabe Rodriguez and Diana Crone, President and CEO of CPAC.

Following the press event, police officers helped distribute the masks throughout Camden.