Field Day is a big event for young students each school year. When faculty members at FAME Academy at Brookhill Elementary School realized the popular outing would have to be canceled this year due to coronavirus concerns, they set about trying to find a way to create some fun for their students.
Principal Jeff Mathheus said teachers Ben Heatherly and Kristi Murphree came up with the idea to send the students what they called "Field Day in a Bag."
Mathheus said about 10 teachers got together and put jump ropes, bracelets, bingo cards encouraging helping around the house with chores and more into oversized envelopes that were then labeled and sent to each FAME Academy student.
“By the end of April, we knew we wouldn't be able to do Field Day, which is a big day for students, their families and our teachers,” Mathheus said. “It's a good way to build teamwork, and it's big for families and teachers who get to come together and have a fun day. We wanted a way to reach that social, emotional side of things with the kids at home, because this has been an unusual time for everyone.”
Mathheus said the teachers formed an assembly line, while maintaining proper social distancing, in order to fill the envelopes. He said it took about an hour to complete the project for the academy's 282 students. The packages were filled May 13 and mailed the following day.
“It made us feel really well,” Mathheus said. “Our kids are special to us. I look at our kids like they were my own sons and daughters. For our teachers and staff to go the extra mile, for that child to have a package with their own name on it, that to me is priceless.”
Mathheus said he and his faculty and staff “really miss our kids.” He said he is proud of what the academy's teachers have been able to accomplish through e-learning and by staying connected with students.