LA CROSSE, Wis. – (WXOW) – The La Crosse Public Education Foundation is thanking teachers and staff for all of their hard work throughout the pandemic by delivering boxes of nutritious snacks to school buildings throughout the School District of La Crosse.
Every year the Foundation finds a way to thank the staff members in the district. This year, it was supposed to happen in May but because of the pandemic, it couldn’t. Instead they are taking the time to thank them now for all of their hard work and adaptation to the virtual learning curriculum.
The School District of La Crosse has been doing an online format since the pandemic first began back in March which means there has been a lot of adaptation and learning on staff members parts.
“Ever since the pandemic set in there’s been a lot of things going on,” said Brad Quarberg, a member of the La Crosse Board of Education Foundation. “Teachers doing extra lessons, taking lessons out to their students, there’ve been custodians having to clean more, nutrition people having to make sure that our students get fed. So we all just want to say thank you to them and that we realize and recognize what they are doing, what they have been going through, and a show of support for them.”
The boxes contain all nutritious snack items like fruit and nuts. Quarberg says the Education Foundation wants staff members to know that they are all in this together which is why they created these snack boxes. The snacks are all set out for staff members to have the opportunity to walk by and take what they want.
Seventh-grade teacher Jesse Martinez discussed the challenges they have faced since switching to the online format and different ways they are working to interact and connect with their students without face-to-face contact. He explained that there are individual breakout rooms in Zoom that helps to give them that individual interaction piece as well as group breakout rooms.
“Then you can have that one on one interaction with the student without the pressure of the rest of the class kind of looking at what you’re talking about. We’ve also had students do some group work and build community between them,” said Martinez.
Martinez explained that outside support doesn’t stop at these snack boxes. The La Crosse Public Education Foundation goes further than just providing these for their staff members. They also provide grants to teachers if they apply. These grants give teachers the opportunity to purchase books and other things for their classrooms as well. He says that while it’s a great treat to receive these boxes, the staff is grateful for a lot more than just the snacks.
“I think sometimes people forget that there are others out there and we are in this together and if we can show them just a little bit that we are thinking of them and that we appreciate them, it might help give them a boost when they are at the end of the day, putting in extra hours, or had to do extra things just to let them know that we realize what they are doing,” said Quarberg.