(April 10th, 2020 -- Jersey City, NJ) Explore Middle School students and staff stayed positive during remote learning by celebrating virtual spirit week and using social media to stay connected.
In an effort to keep positivity high and the school community strong, Principal Krone and Supervisor Velazquez along with the help of the Student Council kicked off a 2-week virtual spirit week. Parents, students, and staff were encouraged to document their celebration of each themed day with pictures and videos. The pictures and videos were then shared on Explore’s Facebook and Instagram page so that all community members could enjoy the fun.
The Virtual Spirit Week themes included: School Pride Day, Act of Kindness Day, Family & Family Pet Day, Get Active Day, Creativity Day, Healthcare Heroes, First Responders, & Essential Workers Appreciation Day, Whatcha Reading? Day, Spread Positivity Day, and Make a Meme Day.
The students, their families, and Explore staff took advantage of the chance to have fun each day as well as the opportunity to embrace philanthropic endeavors.
Act of Kindness Day turned out students helping their families with things like laundry, setting the table, painting rooms, and other household chores. 8th grader Leenah Ramos, a Girl Scout, donated Girl Scout cookies to frontline workers while her brother, 6th grader Ethan, wrote motivational cards for local senior citizens. 7th grader Sofia Ayala sent lunch to the West New York and Guttenberg Police Departments.
The Explore community was introduced to family pets like 6th grader Daniel Amador’s pet bird, Mighty, 7th grader Sibel Gitonga’s dog, Squash, and 7th grader Jorge Flores’ ferret, Sherlock. Music teacher, Ms. Angela Cirillo, and her family sent well wishes and Mr. Dunphy showed off his dance moves with his daughter Cassie on Family & Family Pet Day.
6th grader Alison Turok led her family in a yoga session on Get Active Day. 7th grader Gabriel Maradino and his family took advantage of the sunshine and went for a bike ride together. Madeleine Ng, 7th grade, also spent time outside practicing gymnastics. On Creativity Day Ludwig Pahl, 7th grader whipped up a cauliflower lunch for his family. 6th graders Emma Sauerbrei and Isabella Santini baked for their families. 7th grader Elias Hernandez created an original painting. Physical Education teacher Ms. Shannon Mattern shared a video of her playing the guitar.
Spread Positivity Day included students sharing original art like 6th graders Cyrus Fernandez’s rainbow drawing and Simran Rambarrat’s “Think Positive Be Positive” painting. 7th grader Rafael Campo created sidewalk art sharing the message “Explore the Great Not the Hate” and 8th grade did the same sharing “Stay Strong” in chalk on his sidewalk. Language Arts teacher, Ms. Justine Franco, bought coffee for the nurses and doctors in her life.
Supervisor Velazquez participated in Spread Positivity Day by donating to a senior citizens groceries charity. “Spirit Week is one of my favorite Explore traditions. Seeing everyone's daily pictures and videos keeps us all virtually connected and engaged, especially at a time like this. We are receiving a lot of positive feedback from parents too!”
Principal Krone joined in and partnered with local business, Wonder Bagel, to have breakfast delivered to a Jersey City Fire Department on behalf of Explore Middle School. Principal Krone chose JCFD Engine number 6 as it is just a few blocks away from Explore.
“The students and staff always have a great time when we have spirit week at school so the staff and I knew that during this time a virtual spirit week would help boost morale and keep the wolfpack connected. I am grateful to everyone who participated and look forward to keeping our school spirit high,” Principal Krone shared.