To show appreciation for everything teachers are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison Southern’s Family Career and Community Leaders Association (FCCLA) created gifts to deliver to the school’s teachers.

Emily Alexander, family consumer sciences teacher at Madison County, told The Register the idea came from the FCCLA officers.

“We try to allow the students to have a lot of ownership and say in the activities that they do,” Alexander said. She said the FCCLA consists of around 40 to 50 members. Students who have taken an elective in family consumer sciences, which includes the culinary arts pathway and the early childhood education pathway, are eligible to be members.

Alexander said the FCCLA prides itself on reaching out to the school and community. It normally holds events such as the Boo Bash, an indoor trick-or-treating event in the fall, as well as events for Christmas and Homecoming.

The group also normally does a big event for teacher appreciation. Alexander said it normally hosts an appreciation breakfast for the teachers at Madison Southern High School. She said the group also would reach out to around 30 different retail and restaurants in the community to see if they would donate gift cards and other items for the cause.

However, with COVID-19, the normal way of doings things have changed.

“This year is different. We’re in a unique situation … ," she said. "So we sent the officers a text trying to figure out a way to still do appreciation, like we always do, but from a COVID-19 spin."

She said after the officers spent some time looking online to see what others might have done, they decided to do a spin-off of the teacher parade. Instead, they are doing a teacher appreciation parade where the students, and some staff, will deliver gifts to teacher’s doors.

The gifts will include items such as a bag of popcorn with the quote “just popping in to say thank you” as well as seasoning packets. Alexander said with everything going on, the budget for gifts was not very high, but students still wanted to do something for their teachers.

“The students wanted a way to tell the teachers how much they appreciate all of the work that they are putting into online learning and how they are still trying to make learning meaningful,” Alexander said.

She explained during this time, teachers are having to put on many new hats they had not previously worn, whether it's taking their education forms to online or becoming the form of communication between families and other resources they may be needing.

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