Every student lucky enough to be in Shannon Anderson’s third-grade class has something amazing to look forward to at the end of the year.
Shannon, who lives in Rensselaer, Indiana, has been teaching for 25 years and is a children’s book author. Wanting to share her love of words with her kids, she always has them write and illustrate their own book. Right before summer break, they have a reveal party — and receive a special gift!
Typically, Shannon has each student draw their fictional character on a white dress, which she wears to the party. She also presents them with their very own Budsie, a custom plush toy designed to look just like the characters they invented!
But with the social distance learning brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, she had to get creative to continue the beloved tradition.
Instead of decorating her dress, she had her class illustrate their own T-shirts at home. Then she put on a mask and gloves and hit the road to deliver the unique toys!
To say her visits were a big hit is an understatement! Her 24 students were so excited they could hardly wait until she rang their doorbells. Mom Jessica Burlingham said her daughter Elsie had a hard time sleeping the night before Shannon stopped by.
“She sat outside for an hour waiting,” Jessica added. “They work so hard at this … she was super ecstatic.”
As for Shannon, she said, “It was the best day ever because we hadn’t seen each for so long. … Everyone was ready for a pick-me-up.”
Maurie Johns, another parent, said her son Joshua was devastated when they started remote learning in March because of the book project. In fact, “When they canceled school, he said, ‘Why does it have to happen the year I have Mrs. Anderson?'”
The little guy had watched his older sister write her book about a robot a few years earlier, so he decided to make his own the sequel. When Shannon finally arrived with his matching robot Budsie, he was absolutely thrilled!
Judging by the looks on their faces, we can see these kids loved seeing their teacher just as much as they appreciated their extraordinary gifts. Educators really are the best!
Watch the video below to see Shannon make these special deliveries, and don’t forget to share the joy with a friend. For more stories of hope, check out the Coronavirus Good News Dashboard.
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