When the Marin County Office of Education closed schools in mid-March, it wasn’t clear for how long the stay-at-home order would go on—would it be a couple of weeks, a month, or more? The students at the Garden School at Marin Art & Garden Center came to school as usual on a Thursday, but by that evening, the order came out keeping children at home, where they have remained ever since. There was no chance for goodbyes for beloved friends and teachers, and suddenly life was very different for these young children and their families.
From the first days of the shelter in place order, the Garden School staff was reaching out to all the families, providing activities and encouragement to help them to adjust to this new situation. Mrs. Tornga has read books aloud, and the school’s wonderful gymnastics teacher even offered online classes for the kids. No one knows better than a preschool teacher how challenging it can be to keep small children busy and engaged!
Everyone is missing the daily connection, not to mention that the abrupt end of the school year meant students had no chance to collect their work and personal items left at the school. So what did co-Directors Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Tornga do, but take to the road! They each piled their cars high with bags of supplies and treasures and delivered them to the families, visiting each student to drop off these care packages and have a socially-distant visit. Since it was the week of the traditional Mothers’ Day Lunch, all the mothers received a bouquet of sunflowers, generously donated by Trader Joe’s.
While we look forward to having our regular routines back in place, these extraordinary times make us very grateful for the strong community we have here, and that’s not going anywhere!