Albert Harris Elementary School fourth-grade teachers and students wrote “From Fear to Hope,” a book commemorating the highs and lows of learning during a pandemic.
“Renita Street, a fourth-grade teacher, developed the idea for this project,” said AHES Principal Renee Brown. “This project allowed fourth graders to compare their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic to children who experienced the deadly Polio outbreaks nearly 100 years ago.
“These writings innocently chronicle students’ thoughts and fears about life changes that were involuntarily thrust upon them due to school closings and quarantines. Through writing this book, children demonstrated skills including collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking as they developed their stories with the assistance of fourth-grade teachers. After reading this book, everyone will see how resilient and resourceful children are in times of crisis. I am thoroughly grateful to our students and teachers for creating such an awesome literary work,” Brown said.
“In developing our book, we wanted to give our students a vehicle to express their ups/downs-tapping into the Social/Emotional aspects of this year,” said fourth grade teacher Renita Street. “As their teachers, we listened to their fears and struggles, but also shared in their resilience to meet the challenges that they faced during this pandemic. During our time, teachers and students learned & grew together. We hope that our students continue to persevere when faced with life’s challenges. A special thank you to our parents and families who were our biggest supporters.”
Students wrote about the challenges of having to wear masks, not being able to see teachers or friends, virtual learning, and even losing loved ones; however, students had positive experiences, hope for next school year, and the future. Students reported learning new skills, enjoying building relationships with teachers and classmates, and ready to make the most of the upcoming school year, however it might look.
“This book is a remarkable accomplishment for our fourth-grade students,” said Schools Superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley. “Our students are being instructed in a manner that will supply knowledge and problem-solving skills for our next generation. Students across our planet have adjusted their educational process in order to adapt to their environment. Congratulations to our students for sharing their ‘lived experiences.”