2020 was a tough year for everyone, but especially, educators and really anyone else feeling the effects of decisions made in education. This includes teachers, administrators, members of district staff, school board members, parents and children. More than ever it was important for every school community to celebrate the good happening in and around their schools. Through months of ups and downs, hybrid learning, remote learning, quarantining, cleaning, trying, trying and trying – it was important to show younger generations that in light of such difficult times, there are adult role models fighting to see and share the good.
The challenges posed by COVID-19 have been frustrating and frightening, and the 2020-21 school year is definitely going to be one for the record books. In spite of this, I had the interesting opportunity during this time to work remotely and create multimedia content that shined a light on the good news coming out of Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Through my creative pitching and the school district’s thoughtful willingness to support my project ideas, I was able to connect, communicate and share some powerful and positive vibes in an effort to boost morale and remind everyone that they are strong and supported.
While this work was all produced remotely during a unique time, the benefits of sharing stories that humanize a school district are not unique to 2020. Every school has its own special stories and superheroes. Whether those people are teachers who create interesting ways for students to learn, students who demonstrate great kindness to their peers or parents who pursue interesting career paths – connecting a school community and establishing a positive morale among those community members benefits everyone involved. It reminds teachers they are appreciated, supports students who are striving to find identity and a sense of purpose, and provides parents with a window into how their children spend their school days and who they spend it with. Not to mention, inviting students to participate in visual storytelling engages them in blended learning activities that challenge them to utilize technology and problem solve, all while applying skills in communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
Below are some examples of the work that I produced for Hopewell Valley – a showcase and really a starting point to the type of content that can shape an outsider’s point-of-view and provide insiders with a good old-fashioned (but technologically up-to-date) thank you.