CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Like other schools in Colorado, Heritage Elementary School in Centennial is quiet. No classes, no kids, no teachers—because of closures due to COVID-19.
School psychologist Adam Parker said he knew that even though class was not in session, students could still learn important lessons.
“It’s just so uncertain and just different right now,” Parker said. “I felt like kids and adults needed something to ground them.”
Parker started creating YouTube episodes that include social-emotional lessons. He writes original songs, which feature prominently in the videos, and help him teach the lessons.
“Just to give kids something to look forward to—the response in the comments has been great,” Parker said. “Last week we dealt with empathy, feelings, and reading people’s bodies and faces."
At a time when both adults and kids are dealing with anxiety, Parker said he wants to give people a chance to take stock in things that are under their control.
“Just being able to take a breath and know that you’re surrounded by people who care about you whether it’s on the phone or zoom or in your house, that’ll be the most important thing right now,” Parker said. “Knowing that we’re all experiencing that together--I think communication and talking about feelings is so important right now.”
Parker said routine is important for kids and adults. The routine of creating these YouTube videos to help connect people is something he said he expects to continue doing. So far, he has made six videos.
“I wanted to get these videos out because we need some kindness right now,” Parker said.
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