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Oak Ridge Elementary students construct COVID-19 time capsules

Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 17:55:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — While school administrators work to minimize the impact coronavirus has on heath in their classrooms, teachers are working to make sure students understand the role they play in history.

Fourth graders at Oak Ridge Elementary are making their mark on the future in part by handwriting history.

”Dear future Oak Ridge student," said Tylen Russell. "The year 2020 isn’t like any other because corona is spreading.”

Russell and his classmates spent this week constructing coronavirus time capsules, giving future Oak Ridge students a glimpse of what it’s like learning during a pandemic.

“Recess is different because we can’t use the equipment," Russell said. "At lunch we can’t pick out what we want to eat.”

What started as an icebreaker for teacher Stephanie Terry became a project leaving a lasting impact on the entire school.

“Most of my students this year are digital," said Terry. "I know I can’t have them bring in all of these things to express themselves and help me get to know them at the beginning of the school year.”

Principal Jasmine Smith says the it offers a unique perspective.

“She’s giving them the opportunity to tell how they’re feeling and I think one of the most important things that we can do as adults is to honor the voices of our children,” Smith said.

“I want them to know how we went through in 2020 about the coronavirus and how we made history,” said Kalleni Johnson.

Each capsule includes hand sanitizer, a mask, a personalized letter from one of Terry’s students and a bonus item, like a jump rope, that students chose to share to connect with their future peers.

Whether permitting, Oak Ridge plans to bury the time capsule on their campus Friday.