RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.— One teacher is going above and beyond to help her students cope with the pandemic.
When the pandemic started, kids spent their days learning virtually without the comradery in the classroom.
Once they returned to in-person learning, they sat in masks, not knowing what their classmates or teachers looked like underneath.
“This is something new and we are all experiencing this together,” said Marcia Correia, teacher at Russellville Intermediate School.
Correia said when her students returned to the classroom, they wanted to share their own struggles with the pandemic.
“Every single one of them wanted to write about their COVID experience,” Correia told KARK.
Together, Mrs. Correia’s class created a book called “Welcome to the New World.”
“We are never going to forget, and it gives them a chance to tell their story,” Correia said.
Students wrote about losing grandparents to COVID-19, watching parents lose jobs and missing out on typical elementary school activities.
“Welcome to the new world. Ever since COVID-19 has started… things have changed,” wrote Tiana Causey, 5th grader at Russellville Intermediate School.
Another student writing, “It caused my mom to pick up another shift. My dad had to work extra hours because he ran out of money.”
Mrs. Correia said it is hard reading how her students were impacted by the coronavirus and that the pandemic was tough on her as well.
“I think about the kids who have never known a normal year. Kindergarteners, first graders and second graders have yet to even experience field trips,” cried Correia. “So many firsts and lasts were lost. First Christmas parties, field trips and award celebrations were not celebrated.”
Each student received a copy of his or her own history to look back on someday when they’re grown.
Correia hopes one day her classroom will return to normal.
“I hope one day our students and teachers will know the old world once again,” she said.
The book was made possible by an organization called Student Treasure Publishing.
According to the company, they promote student collaboration, build self-esteem and incorporate educational standards through writing.
For tips on navigating the pandemic with your child, visit KARK.com.