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Connecting

Preschool teacher’s daughter reading online to mom’s students

Photos submitted to Times Observer The child in the middle is in Sandy Schott’s class at the YMCA (Kolton) and his brothers with him are Trenton and Liam.

Teachers are finding new ways to stay connected to students and parents with social distancing.

Sandy Schott, a preschool teacher at the YMCA in Warren, and her daughter Kendra Tudor, would typically open a school morning together to prepare for the class’s arrival.

Tudor, 11, is a sixth-grader at Beaty Warren Middle School and would spend her mornings before school reading books to her mother’s class.

“Sometimes it would be two-to-three books a day,” said Schott.

According to Schott, Tudor has a knack for taking kids under her wing and is truly excited to see them every morning. She loves spending time with them.

Sandy Schott, a preschool teacher at the YMCA in Warren, and her daughter Kendra Tudor, pictured, have been sharing videos of Tudor reading to her students.

“She treats them as if they were all her little brothers and sisters,” said Schott.

With the extra downtime, they have simply been trying to keep busy.

She noticed that her daughter was genuinely missing the time she got to spend with the class, so it sparked an idea.

Schott has been recording videos of Tudor reading a story about three times a week.

She will then post the video on her “class dojo,” which is a private online platform for teachers and parents to communicate what is going on in the classroom.

Usually Schott posts messages and pictures of her students during the day to share with parents what happens behind-the-scenes.

Now, she is posting these virtual story-reading videos to help stay connected. The parents can conveniently log on and play the videos in their own time.

She said that, so far, about 50 percent of parents are viewing and leaving positive comments on the videos and saying that the kids are loving them and are excited to see Tudor.

For Schott and the parents, it’s about keeping some kind of normalcy.

According to Tudor, she loves reading to the class because it is helping her become a better reader and helps her practice her word pronunciations. She is also just as excited to do this for her mom’s students as the student’s are to hear her read the stories.

Win-win for Schott, we would say.

Some of Tudor’s favorite stories include “Pete the Cat,” “The Bus for Us,” “Llama Llama,” and an Easter-themed book called “The Sweetest Easter.”

“The only thing I would change is that I wish I could see the kids’ reactions,” said Schott.

Since they are recorded videos, the students don’t get to watch the videos in real time.

But, the feedback proves that the videos are worth it and everyone is loving them.

Other than reading books for the videos, Tudor said she has been spending time completing puzzles with her dad, and also now has her own school work to do, so she has had to cut back on the stories.

However, she still is planning to do them at least once a week, or when she can.

According to Schott, Tudor just genuinely enjoys reading for the kids, so she will continue to post the videos and share them with her students.

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