Special to the EagleHerald
Amanda Lesandrini, an educational associate at Park Elementary School in Marinette, reads “Say Something!” by Peter H. Reynolds to students through video.
Special to the EagleHerald

Amanda Lesandrini, an educational associate at Park Elementary School in Marinette, reads “Say Something!” by Peter H. Reynolds to students through video.

MARINETTE — Schools have been shut down nationwide for a little more than a week in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped schools from staying connected to their students.

The staff and students at Park Elementary School in Marinette have been taking photos and videos of themselves and what they’re doing while at home. Some teachers and staff members have filmed themselves reading aloud or simply giving the students and other staff a small window into their daily lives at home.

“I was thinking, ‘What can we do while these students are gone, because they’re so young,’” said Park principal, Bev Schewe. “So I started by reading them a book, and then I posted it online, and I reached out to the rest of the staff, and from there we started brainstorming a bunch of different things that we could do.”

Since Thursday, when that video went up on social media, the school has been posting a plethora of photos and videos from staff and students on the school’s Facebook page, as a way to keep the students engaged and keep building the teacher-student relationships while they’re away from each other. “We’re trying to show the different things that you can do and still be learning,” Schewe said.

Amanda Lesandrini, an educational associate at Park, read “Say Something!” by Peter H. Reynolds to the students through video. “All the parents and students have really gotten behind it; they’re sharing endless amounts of videos and photos of them interacting at home and doing assignments that were given to them in their learning packets, and so I think it’s really cool that they’re invested and they’re still involved in their academics, even with the sudden change,” she said.

Some of the teachers took the opportunity to display what their daily lives are like, giving the students a look into who their teachers are as people. Nicole Cronick, a first grade teacher, shared a video of herself taking care of her two donkeys. Not long after, a few videos were shared of a third grade student taking care of her chickens, which Cronick said was a high point for her so far. “I’d never had her as a student, so what was awesome for me was that I learned something about her. I had no idea she had animals,” she said.

Lesandrini said the school’s administrative assistant, Sheila Carviou, receives all of the videos and photos sent out by parents and teachers and puts a few out each day throughout the day to keep the teachers and families engaged.

All of the teachers from Park who talked with the EagleHerald said they would love to see this continue beyond the coronavirus shutdown period.

Amber Lutze, a fourth grade teacher, said the read-aloud videos may be harder to do, as companies like Scholastic are relaxing some of their copyright policies to allow other schools to do similar things while the schools are closed. “But the kids sharing about their daily lives, we’d love to keep that going over the summer, too, since we don’t get to see each other then too,” she said.