Take a few minutes to watch Feel Good Friday, Episode 4, and we promise your spirits will be uplifted, and you will feel pride in your Hamden community.
May 18th, 2020
By Diana Natti Theriault
Many of us here in Hamden, and across the world, are discovering what it is like to suddenly be stuck at home with our families. For one Hamden household, all this togetherness has lead to a creative new that is bringing joy and comfort to kids in Hamden.
Chris Prevost, a fourth grade teacher at Dunbar Hill School, and his daughter Shannon Prevost, a paraprofessional at West Woods School, have used this time to create Feel Good Friday, a fun weekly video show that features staff from both their schools. The show is intended to bring good news and entertainment to the students and families at Dunbar Hill and West Woods.
The idea sprung from watching John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” which, during a time of such uncertainty, has made the Prevost family, and so many others, feel comfort and happiness. Shannon and Chris wanted to create something similar, but geared toward their own community and students. Like so many educators, the two felt desperate to connect with their kids, and creating this video offered them, and others, the opportunity to reach out in a safe way.
Each episode features fun submissions from the staff at the two schools, like Weather with Mrs. Patafio, the Cottiero PE Challenge, Music Time, and Page vs. Page - a fun challenge between Mr. Page from West Woods, and Mrs. Page from Dunbar Hill School. There are also submissions from students and families, and plenty of adorable photos and videos of pets.
This week’s episode has the Whipped Cream Challenge, and it is sure to make you laugh. Warning: if you show it to your kids, you may end up participating in your own challenge!
The video takes Shannon around three to six hours to edit, which she says she doesn’t mind, since that means they have a lot of material to work with. She thinks that the video submissions are an opportunity for staff to be a little silly, and to try something different to reach kids in a fun way, with no pressure involved. The video is truly a labor of love, since it is created entirely as a volunteer project, from start to finish.
The Prevosts’ send the completed video out to the staff of both schools on Thursday evening, so teachers can post it in their Google Classroom for their students to watch on Friday morning. It is no surprise that the kids are loving it, and on Friday mornings, the Classroom Stream is filled with comments from kids, talking together about Feel Good Friday.
Asked if they had any plans to go district wide, the Prevosts’ said that they would love the project to be a collaboration between all of the Hamden schools, since finding a way to create unity is something that they see as being very beneficial to the students and staff, but the logistics may not allow for such a large endeavor. With distance learning coming to a close, they plan to focus on creating the last few videos of this school year, and then seeing what the summer brings.
Shannon says that for now “just to know that the video is reaching homes, and kids are seeing it and enjoying it, that is the ultimate goal”.
Watching the videos, it is clear that these two love each other, and both care deeply about the students and families in our town. Hamden is lucky to have such dedicated teachers!