The staff at Bloom-Vernon Elementary in trying to keep things up on a positive note and their Principal, Sandy Smith came up with a contest to have her folks get involved in to do this.
Smith posted on their school Facebook page. “Bloom-Vernon Elementary believes in setting goals and working towards those goals. Each school year brings new challenges. Great things are accomplished when there is a focus, a purpose, and a plan. We believe working collaboratively with like-minded people contributes to higher levels of success. During trying times, such as we are experiencing now, many people will struggle mentally. We have so much ‘unknown’ in our country. Following the BVE philosophy of having a focus, a purpose, and a plan, the staff decided to have a ‘Corona Virus Challenge’.”
The rules were to come up with a project that students would do around their house(or even at school), Make a plan of how they can attack the project, take a before picture, take an after picture, and maybe a couple of pictures during the process, the project must involve six or fewer people since due to the limit to the number of people we are in contact with. The contest started on March 20 through the 27th.
Once the Coronavirus Challenge ended, before and after pictures were posted on Facebook to let kids and their families vote for the best Coronavirus challenge. The winner and those who helped with the project received a Corona Virus challenge t-shirt.
“My daughter. Jodi Craft and I painted an old school bus that our family has had for a number of years,” Smith said. “We have a plan to convert it into a camper in the future, but the outside looked horrible. After watching some youtube videos on how to paint a ‘schoolie’, we went to Sherwin Williams and talked to the guy who works there. He suggested the type of paint we use, and a purchase was made. We started sanding the bus on Sunday afternoon during the week of the challenge. We sanded then power washed it in one day. It took us 2 partial days and one 10 hour day to complete our project. Our project was completed at 6:00 P.M. on the deadline. Our project made it to the finals and won.”
Angie Baker, 5th grade Social Studies teacher, used her talents during the challenge but did not make it to the final round. Her project was beaten by ‘The Cats’.
“When we were challenged to do something productive during our first couple of weeks of time “off” I knew I had some things I wanted to do around the house, but I also wanted to help someone else out if I could,” Baker said. “For myself, I was able to cram what would have taken me nearly two months of evenings and weekends into eight marathon days of spring cleaning. I’m not talking light cleaning; I took everything out of every cabinet and closet, everything off all the walls, and cleaned from ceiling to floor. I also painted my daughter’s bedroom furniture, a project I’d been wanting to do for a while. But my biggest satisfaction was helping my grandma find a little joy each day while quarantined in her assisted living facility. She struggles with loneliness in normal times, and not being able to get out and see people has been very upsetting to her. So my family and my dad have been taking turns sitting outside her window and talking to her through the screen. She says it’s making things a little more bearable. My final entry into the competition was that I’ve been able to keep busy, exercise, and count calories during this time at home…and have currently lost seven pounds during quarantine! I may not have gotten the most votes in my round, but I am pretty pleased with my results.”
Heidi Triggs worked on her desk at school. Heidi is a preschool school teacher, new to the district as a teacher this year. “I changed school districts late in the summer and between vacation and the Fair. I only had time to pack up my previous classroom,” Triggs said. “As I adjusted to life at Bloom Vernon Elementary, I focused on my students and did not take time to organize my desk and just started shoving stuff in it. This challenge allowed me to take the time to get started unpacking items from storage and organize my desk. It took me three days to get my desk perfect and ready for my little learners when they can return to school.” She made it to the finals.
Felicia Lawson, first-grade teacher, adopted two cats as her project. Felicia stated, “I chose this project because animals have a special place in my heart. If you are thinking about adding a new part to your family, please consider adopting! There are so many good reasons to adopt a pet instead of purchasing one. Most importantly, you will be saving a life. Shelters take in lost and abandoned animals every single day, which results in overcrowding. Adopting from a shelter would allow space for other animals in need to receive care. Most shelters make it less expensive to adopt rather than buy. For example, the shelter will most likely take care of the spaying and neutering costs, along with the first set of vaccinations your pet will need to keep healthy and safe. Another benefit of adopting is that many of the pets are already house trained and that is a benefit worth investing in. Perhaps, the greatest gift you will receive from adopting is unconditional love from a pet patiently waiting for their forever home. In need of a new best friend? Please stop by your local shelter and see what possibilities are waiting for you.”
Lavonda Shuff made Easter bunny crafts. “I enjoy gardening and making crafts. It’s my kind of therapy.”
Smith said, “The purpose of the Corona Virus Challenge is to keep our staff focused, have a purpose, and make a plan. “I typically determine the success of my days by how much I’ve accomplished throughout the day. There is never a day that I don’t have a plan. Sometimes the plan changes, but there is always something we can accomplish, and it feels good for doing it.”
Smith added, “We all have projects that we need to complete, yet we never have the time to complete them. This is a time in our lives that we need to complete some of the projects so that our lives are a little less cluttered, and better organized. During challenging times like we are currently experiencing, please use your time wisely. Spend time with your family, work on projects that need completed. Read a good book, start exercising. The more we keep ourselves physically active, the better our mental health will remain in the days, weeks and months to come.”
“We are in this together. Let’s continue to challenge one another, and encourage those who need encouragement. When the Coronavirus crisis ends, we can come out of it better than when we entered it. But how we spend our time now, determines our state of mind when it ends,” Smith said.
Smith is already at it again and said, “Next up for Bloom-Vernon Elementary Corona Virus Challenge? We are writing our own book with stories that we either start or end with ‘we can’t make this stuff up.’ “
Smith not only came up with what looks like a fabulous idea, and a way for her staff to do things, that just like the rest of us, need to be done, but we never have the time. Well, the time is here and what a great way for the Bloom-Vernon community to stay involved and look forward to something else that will be coming.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights