Brave

Superintendent Jon Zwemke holds a sign offering support to Reedsport students, as part of #BeBrave2020.

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REEDSPORT — Staff members of the Reedsport schools took to Facebook last week, offering students, and the community, messages of love and well wishes using the hashtag #BeBrave2020.

The images can be viewed on the Reedsport Community Charter School Facebook page. They feature staff members in their homes with signs offering words of support and encouragement during the COVID-19 health crisis, as well as inspirational quotes. Many messages also expressed that the staff missed their students and would see them again soon.

Superintendent Jon Zwemke offered a quote from Horace that “adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant,” while another staff member quoted Tupac Shakur “for every dark night, there’s a brighter day.”

“I believe it was as important for staff to reach out as it was for kids to see the messages,” said Zwemke. “This quarantine is teaching us the importance of reaching out in new ways to students. We really care and want to keep our connections with our students and community.”

The idea was devised by Zwemke on April 3. He reached out to staff to complete the photos over the weekend. By April 6, 52 people had joined in. Zwemke said it was an impulsive idea, but he’s happy that it worked out well.

Amanda O’Brien, principal of Highland Elementary School said they want to share a positive message to encourage the students and families with a familiar face. She recalled it’s been several weeks since any of them have seen each other and having even that connection to the students is nice.

“It is still very important to find the positives in times like these,” O’Brien said.

The Reedsport Schools are also planning a staff parade around the community to see students and families in person. There will be proper social distancing precautions, with staff members in a car, waving and saying hello to families on the sidewalk. Details of parade locations are available on the school websites and Facebook pages.

“Look for our parade routes to see what time your teacher will be driving by,” states the district. “Please remember to stand back and wave from a distance. We miss you and can’t wait to see you.”

Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-266-6043, or by email at aworldnews4@countrymedia.net.

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