Although many county residents are sheltering-in-place, health care workers are continuing to carry out their duties, despite significant risks to their health.
Recently, Laura Oliver and Lindsey Titus’ third-grade class at Michelson Elementary School gave their heartfelt thanks to those on the frontlines in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
The idea came about through a weekly online meeting between teachers and students on April 17.
“Switching to online learning on March 16 has been hard on our students for so many reasons, but the most prevalent is that they do not get to see their friends and learn through the hands-on, discussion-based methods that we are so accustomed to,” Oliver and Titus said in an email. “To ease this social sadness, we have been hosting daily Google Meets to catch up, visit and teach simple lessons. On Fridays, we’ve been trying to meet up, relax and do a fun activity together.”
The students were engaged in a drawing activity when the topic of health care workers came up.
“As we were all drawing together and enjoying the normalcy of it, we casually chatted,” the teachers said. “Some of our students talked about their parents who are nurses or X-ray technicians or home health care workers. Some kids talked about how hard the health care people are working. We chatted about why we are all staying home and how it is helping.”
The kids came up with the idea of showing their appreciation for health care workers by drawing pictures of them and making thank-you cards.
“The kids decided they wanted to thank the health care workers and let them know how much they appreciated everything they were doing,” Oliver and Titus said. “There was a lot of concern about making sure we thanked everyone that was a health care worker, not just the doctors and nurses in hospitals, but also the workers in clinics and homes and pharmacies and elsewhere. They didn’t think they could make enough cards. And they were worried we would miss someone who’s been working super hard. During our brainstorm, the kids asked if we could send their thank-you notes and drawings to the local newspapers so they could really get the word out.”
While the teachers said that they normally wouldn’t publicly share a classroom activity, they made an exception in this case.
“This felt so heartwarming and beautiful, it feels worth sharing,” the teachers said. “Some students have felt lonely and isolated during this shelter-in-place, and this activity made them feel connected to the outside world. It let them realize their part (shelter-in-place) in helping have a healthy community. It gave them the chance to put into words their gratitude at being kept safe by others.”
The teachers went on to share that the exercise also let the students talk with one another “about their feelings, worries and pride in their family members and friends out there in the trenches. It was really a beautiful experience. So, on behalf of our students, we would like to celebrate and thank all of the health care workers! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.”
Along with drawing pictures of health care workers, the students wrote short messages thanking them for their work.
“Thank you for taking care of us,” Darby Bottomley said. “I am helping by staying healthy and keeping my distance from others. I am grateful that you are still working and helping others that are sick to get better. You are all awesome!”
“Thank you for helping millions of people and saving their lives,” Morgan Brodie said. “You are the best health care workers.”
“Thank you for helping people get better,” Alison Leon Perete said. “I know you still don’t have the cure for the coronavirus but you have done so much for people in the world. Thank you for your hard work and we will all support you for your hard work and thank you for helping people as much as you can.”