Due to COVID-19, teachers, students and families across the globe have suddenly been thrust into Distant Learning. And, engaging students in lessons and discussions virtually in the classroom known universally as “Google” takes a good deal of creativity. Enter Jeffrey Lovelace.
This Ridgefield Public School psychologist working at Veterans Park Elementary School has created his own show, and he broadcasts LIVE to the school community weekdays from his Newtown home! This "Morning Show" sets the stage for a happy day, complete with music, weather, guest appearances, uplifting news, and more (you really need to watch an episode!)
"When it was announced that schools around the state were going to be closing, it struck me that kids and teachers would be looking for a sense of the community we had while in session and missing what we had to leave behind. I had a notion that we might be closed for a while, and started thinking how do I support mental health across the whole school community - parents, students, and teachers - while not being able to see everyone or talk directly each day?"
The Morning Show checks all of those boxes, and more.
And, Lovelace is a natural behind the camera. Move over Ryan Seacrest.
"My summers in grade school were spent in Maine with my Uncle and Aunt who had a radio show. The idea hit me to do a daily show similar to what I remembered from sitting in their studio. I thought it would be important to remind everyone what day of the week it was, what the date was, look at the weather to try to give everyone a chance to get outside, and talk about a mental health topic of some kind. I hoped that classroom teachers and other staff at Veterans Park Elementary would be willing to "call-in" and participate as well," Lovelace explains.
Lovelace won the hearts and attention of the VP community from the get-go. Staff members enthusiastically appear on The Morning Show as guests. "One of our office secretaries calling in each Wednesday for a natural conversation that we've lovingly called: Wombat Wednesday. I truly could not be doing this without the support of everyone in the school," he says.
Need some positive energy? Lovelace posts the show to Google classroom each night and emails it to anyone who might need a little emotional pick-me-up.
"It has been a community effort, for certain. The response has been growing and growing," Lovelace says.