Chalkboard Champion: Fostering normalcy in abnormal times

Chalkboard Champion - Lori England - Emma Booker Elementary

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota County teacher is being awarded $500 for the work she has been doing for her students throughout the pandemic.

Lori England is a kindergarten teacher at Emma Booker Elementary in Sarasota.

“I just think the most important thing is that the kids have the most normal environment they can and hands on environment and activities that are developmentally appropriate for them to engage and not just be lectured to so I have tried to make sure we have the resources in place to make that happen,” said England.

England recently held a scholastic book drive through the scholastic campaign. She took to social media to raise money for the books. The goal was to get enough money so students could get at least one new book every month but to her surprise was able to get enough funding for them to have two or three new books a month.

“This is great especially because we’re trying not to share things and many of our students don’t have new books at home and they love when you read the book and hand them a copy,” she added.

The classroom setting in 2020 is different because of COVID-19, masks, and social distancing. Despite this, she has tried to foster an environment that is normal for her students.

“We have a lot of bins with different activities and different centers so they can be used by one or two students and then they go in the yuck bucket to be cleaned for the next group of kids so really it’s a lot of bins this year,” she said.

For England, teaching is something she has always wanted to do.

“I was in 2nd grade when I decided I wanted to be a teacher and I never strayed from that. I think I had some really great teachers in my life that put me on this path and I love what I do.”

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