How can you be together, apart? One way is to create a shared experience. Local musician Jared Campbell did just that, playing a virtual concert that was streamed into each Windsor elementary classroom Monday.
“I walked around to all of the classrooms and the kids were all engaged. They were singing and dancing, socially distanced, of course. I heard a lot of laughing and giggling,” said Palmer Elementary music teacher Amy Bealo.
Bealo organized the concert with Campbell. She planted the seeds for the event at the beginning of the school year.
“I remember we had a professional development day. I realized we wouldn’t be able to hug the kids we haven’t seen for so long. How could we be close to them without being physically close?” said Bealo.
“I was texting with Mrs. Bealo, and she was saying, ‘I don’t know what this year is going to look like. We need a song that can make us smile, make us feel good,’” Campbell told students.
In response, Campbell wrote, ‘Air Hugs,’ a song he performed at his virtual concerts at Palmer, Bell, and Weeks Elementary schools. The song prompted many of the students to give each other air hugs.
“I liked that everyone was having fun,” said Palmer Elementary 2nd grader Ellery Monroe.
“The music was fun,” said Palmer Elementary 2nd grader Joshua Wood-Dember.
“His puppy pictures were really cute,” said Palmer Elementary 2nd grader Georgia Freeman.
Campbell also played a virtual concert later Monday night for students and their families.
“We are fortunate to ‘bring’ Jared Campbell to Windsor,” said Bealo. “His songs reinforce many of the character traits we try to instill in our students: responsibility, respect, integrity, friendship, and being who they are meant to be. Jared's music is catchy and fun with a positive message that kids remember.”