During the COVID-19 pandemic, public employees across the nation have given back to their communities in extraordinary ways. From donating to food banks to helping their neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have been on the front lines. 

Teachers are some of the most important members of their communities. They educate our children, volunteer their time and resources, and work to make a difference every day. For the next few weeks, we will be honoring the hard work done by teachers across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State of NH, local school districts, work to keep kids fed by Dave Solomon. Teachers and school staff across the state of New Hampshire have stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic. In this March piece for The Keene Sentinel, Solomon writes about how school districts, teachers, staff, and volunteers have made sure their students continue to be fed during the pandemic. After email appeals for volunteers to help with delivering breakfast and lunch to students in need earlier this year, Nashua Teachers’ Union President Adam A. Marcoux didn’t know what to expect, but teachers, staff, and volunteers rose to the occasion. “It was amazing. We had more than 100 volunteers, ranging from food service staff, to paras, teachers, secretaries, nurses … you name it … and members of the general public.”

Kansans turn to each other for help during coronavirus outbreak by Nomin Ujiyediin. With restaurants and many businesses closed throughout Kansas, many Kansans, including teachers, have turned to Facebook to organize volunteers to help people needing assistance. One of those efforts was started in the Riverside neighborhood in Wichita, Ujiyediin writes. Chandra Di Piazza, a teacher, wanted to help as much as she could since schools were closed. Di Piazza started babysitting for first responders and making food deliveries for Kansans who cannot leave their homes. She said, “I was a young single mom, and if I had been in that situation where I had to go to work and everything was closed, it would have really hurt me. I have that time to do whatever needs to be done for my neighbors.”

Bloom teachers parade through neighborhood to connect with students by Jess Clark. While schools were closed, teachers across the state of Kentucky held parades for their students to lift their spirits and remind them how much their teachers care about them. In Jefferson County, Bloom Elementary School teachers and staff were no exception. Clark writes of the parade, “A cacophonous chorus of car horns and cheers rose from the streets as Bloom teachers, staff and families in the motorcade honked, and waved from their cars. Some had balloons or homemade signs telling students how much they missed them. Families came out of their houses to wave from the sidewalk, enjoying one another’s company from a safe distance. Some families drove in from farther away, and waved from their own cars parked along the road.”

Be sure to check back next week for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!