April 2020

Coming Together While Staying Apart During the Pandemic

Teacher parade in Great Falls, Montana.Teacher parade in Great Falls, Montana.

Teacher parade in Great Falls, Montana.
A mother and her two daughters wave to teachers driving by in a teacher parade in Great Falls, Montana.

Due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, people in communities in the United States and around the world are staying home to slow the spread of the disease. Suddenly kids everywhere are going to school at home. Some are having classes with their teachers through the Internet using video calls. Other teachers are dropping off school supplies and worksheets to their students. Parents or guardians are mailing their children’s papers back to the teachers to be graded. Meanwhile, many teachers are available to speak on the phone or through email if their students have questions.

Since this can be a scary time for many people, communities are finding ways to come together while staying apart. In some towns, teachers welcomed their students back from spring break and into distance learning by driving through their students’ neighborhoods. Students watched these teacher parades from outside their homes. Teachers’ cars were decorated with signs encouraging their students and telling them how much they are missed and loved. Students waved and cheered as their teachers passed. They made their own signs to encourage their teachers.

In some neighborhoods, people have started scavenger hunts. They are placing stuffed animals in windows or coloring rainbows or inspirational messages on the sidewalk that kids can search for during a walk or a bike ride with their family members. By taking part in these activities, they can connect with their community, while maintaining safe social distances.

Many children’s book authors are going online to read from their own books or their favorite stories to kids on videos they are uploading to YouTube, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live. Musicians, such as Billie Eilish and John Legend, are giving concerts from their own homes and sharing their performances online. People are doing online fitness classes, such as yoga and karate classes, to stay active while spending time at home.

Some leaders, such as New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, held special press conferences just for children. Ardern said that kids had a lot of questions about the virus, so she wanted to make sure they were answered in a way that kids that could relate to. In Orlando, Florida, one state house representative, Anna Eskamani, had a special town hall meeting for children that was hosted on Facebook and Instagram Live. Kids were encouraged to ask their own questions about the coronavirus crisis.

On March 28, the federal government announced that social distancing would continue in the United States throughout the month of April. People can continue to connect and help others, even though they are social distancing. It is important for everyone to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities during these difficult times.

Image credit: ©SKYLAR RISPENS/GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE, Great Falls Tribune via Imagn Content Services, LLC

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Question 1
Why are many people around the world staying home?

Question 2
Which world leader held coronavirus press conferences just for kids?

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