HOUSTON - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, some Houston area educators are doing their part to change that, as you’ll see in this Positively Houston.
The role of teachers and school administrators has certainly changed in the pandemic. To combat COVID-19 they’ve become much more than educators, working far beyond the building.
"Here’s some PPE for you and some information about COVID," Johnson Elementary School Principal Pamela Johnson says to a parent while reaching into the vehicle to hand out supplies.
In these strange times, the staff at Aldine ISD’s Johnson Elementary School is trying to make life for their kids as normal as possible, even as 43% of their students are still learning from home.
"We’re not just here to teach. We’re here for their families. So making sure people feel wanted and loved is a big thing because we’re already isolated from our family members right now," says Johnson.
Because things are so peculiar in the pandemic, Johnson Elementary now has a CARES Team.
"I’m part of the CARES Team, which stands for Caring About Reaching Every Student," explains Johnson Elementary’s Sarah Francis.
"This team is set up for the purpose of the word itself, caring. Caring for our community. Caring for our teachers. Caring for our students in this time that we find ourselves in," explains Principal Pamela Johnson, who is also on the team.
Johnson's CARES Team does everything from go to the homes of their families to see what they need and now they’re doing this.
"We’re having something called a drive-by COVID meeting for our parents," says Johnson.
The team is giving away hundreds of masks and bags filled with information to help protect against COVID-19.
"Testing resources for COVID-19 and information on our informational classes for slowing the spread of COVID-19," explains Houston Health Department Public Health Educator Karla Arias.
"There’s also a telephone number so you can talk to someone if you have symptoms as well," adds Francis. "We’re doing everything we can to help slow the spread," says Arias who runs the Houston Health Department’s Better Together Campaign. She’s also helping the Johnson team with their initiative.
"We provide materials. We provide posters, anything to raise awareness and education," says Arias. "We want to do whatever we can for our parents and just providing this PPE is one measure of trying to ease that burden for them. I love the community that I teach in. I grew up in the community," smiles Johnson.
If you would like the Houston Health Department’s Better Together campaign to bring COVID-19 resources to your school or organization, reach out to Karla Arias by calling (281) 753-1936 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.