SWEDESBORO — While searching for ways to make school more fun during the COVID-19 pandemic, educators at Margaret Clifford School (MCS) in Swedesboro rose to the occasion with a creative idea to not only engage their students, but to build community.
Preschool students at MCS had a walking trip to Swedesboro Public Library scheduled at the end of March of 2020 for Story time, but was cancelled due to the lockdown. Academic Team Leaders, preschool teachers, Christina Elko and Jessie Deopp, began to brainstorm ideas on how to keep some sort of normalcy for our preschoolers during the pandemic.
“We were disappointed to cancel as we were looking forward to the trip,” said Elko. “But we thought since everyone was online now, it would be great to bring the library to us!”
Judith Pissano, Branch manager with the Gloucester County Library, and Teresa Carlton, Librarian at Swedesboro Public library, were excited to bring their idea to life.
“Everything is virtual, and we decided, ‘Why not try virtual field trips?'” said Deopp. “The pandemic has been difficult on everyone and field trips are something that our students look forward to.”
Since the event with the Swedesboro Public Library was a success, now all Preschool and Kindergarten students at Margaret Clifford School attend virtual field trips with the Swedesboro Public Library until the pandemic is over.
Chief Academic Officer, Jamie Flick, thought it was a great idea to bring virtual field trips to the classroom. “In the middle of a pandemic, bringing community visits into the classroom was a creative idea that aligned well with our mission to engage students, and enhance learning within our schools,” Flick said.
“The pandemic has really forced us to think of ways in which educators can continue to provide exciting and engaging experiences,” continued Flick. “We could not be more proud of our teachers with their creativity and hard work!”