Our school has a fascinating community that it's been my pleasure to become part of. Although this community has faced hardship as industry left in the 1990s, the people here have remained committed to each other and to their school. I have been impressed by the ingenuity of teachers and students at this school as they lean forward to meet the challenges of authentic education.
"Tiger Pride" is more than just a byword in this community.
Businesses proudly display posters for events from football games to the school musical. Kids band together to create leadership projects or to reach out to community organizations. The students at UE are passionate, curious, and innovative, always looking to find a new place to put their energy.
Covid has decimated both the morale and health of students across the country this year. In our region, we too are battling the new surge while trying to give students hope and motivation. They are just as tired and burnt out as any adults and they need our help.
While we may not be able to solve a health crisis, we can support student's mental and physical well-being.
My goal here is to provide some comforts that will keep them healthier and cheer them up.
First, the few fountains that are Covid-safe can't be used without a cup. Students are using tiny paper cups which are given out by only a few teachers. A ready source with plenty of water is much better for them. I want to give them water bottles that will last through this school year and the next. Second, masks are always a priority.
Many students re-use single-use masks for weeks, waiting until they are falling apart to replace them. I want to have a good supply to help combat this. Better yet, I want to give them cheerful masks that will at least hide a smile.
Finally, I want to help them combat the stress they are under. I can't fix the problems in their lives, but I can give them an outlet to manage their emotions while going through their days. Something to fidget with, to give comfort and relieve stress is good for kids of all ages. I chose pop bracelets, so that they could be worn discreetly, or be taken off to fiddle with. The pop bracelets are silent and unobtrusive, making these a great fit for students in class.
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