Many of our patterns and routines have been interrupted in response to the pandemic. For some, especially younger students, this can lead to feeling disconnected from our communities. That’s why our chaplain, Rev. Keven Fletcher, has created a new touchstone for Junior School students that captures the sense of being part of a connected community.
Goodnight SMUS is a video shared nightly where Keven (and guests from the Junior School) read aloud a chapter from a Winnie-the-Pooh book. The series began two weeks ago as a way to help students maintain that connection.
“The idea is that everyone can gather around and listen to a story. To think that other children and other parents are doing this at the same time cements the understanding that we’re all in this together,” Keven says. “It’s simply about enjoying that moment together each night.”
Keven began with Winnie-the-Pooh, sharing one video every school night on the Junior School Google Classroom. After finishing that book last week, he began the next book: The House at Pooh Corner.
“It’s likely that a lot of Junior School parents were raised with Winnie-the-Pooh as part of their lives, and there’s something quite special about taking our childhood memories and sharing them with our children,” Keven says.
In addition to Keven’s readings, he’s also tapped some familiar faces for Junior School students to read a chapter, including Mr. Turner, Ms. Cook, Ms. Squire, Ms. Lewis and Mr. Ewing.
“This is all about community and there are some people who play an important role in the students’ lives who aren’t part of their video-conferencing experiences. We know that there’s such an affection for these staff members and this is one way for them to stay connected with the students, too,” Keven says.
Keven begins each video asking students to think about something positive that happened that day and to “hold that good thought of the day really close.” In addition to community, he says it’s important for students to reflect as part of social-emotional support.
“We are going through different times and it’s so easy to get swept up in the negatives of what’s happening, even for young students. I believe we all need to savour the good; that allows us to deal with the challenges that are part of our lives.”