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Hampton school recognizes students with virtual awards amid coronavirus

Classrooms are empty during the pandemic, but Armstrong School for the Arts in Hampton continues to reward students for their achievements during virtual learning.

HAMPTON, Va. — Schools have closed their doors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But educators are still doing their best to spread the love to their students.

Bobbi Carrol is the School Counselor at Armstrong School for the Arts in Hampton. 

“One of the things that's most important to us is just student engagement... like they were still part of a greater unit even in their homes, even though they don't come to a physical school building,” said Carroll. 

In an effort to continue to recognize its students, the school went virtual with the awards they would normally get in class. 

“The climate of culture and peace is a very important part of what we do in general,” said Carroll. “It's a little bit harder now being from afar... So, [we’re] still trying to find ways to make relationships with students or continue those relationships.” 

11-year-old Zaire Harris was a Virtual Spirit Week winner. Carroll delivered the award and a gift to Zaire's front door and congratulated her through a window. It wasn’t their usual interaction, but the 5th grader says it made her day. 

“I was really happy and surprised to see Ms. Carroll right at my doorstep,” she explained. “And I waved to her!” 

Zaire's dad, Michael Harris, took to Facebook to share his daughter’s excitement and thank the school for still supporting its students amid COVID-19. 

“I know it's a difficult time, not only for the students but for the teachers,“ said Harris. “I really wanted to show them some love... and also... Ms. Carroll even coming up to the door, I think that's very special.” 

Carroll said Armstrong School for the Arts’ goal is to stay connected to its students however possible and to give them a sense of normalcy during this time of uncertainty. 

“What was really important for us was to continue the level of support and care that we could, the best we could... and just trying to give them that active love of learning again.”

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