By Kathleen Sipio, Executive Director of Celebration Foundation

The Celebration Foundation’s mission is to build a better community through arts, education and culture.

Last month, our community schools had a different first day of school for the students, teachers, staff and parents. A hybrid of online learning in virtual classrooms and face to face learning on Celebration K8 school’s campus and Celebration High School’s campus.

Traditionally, families prepare for back to school with shopping for new uniforms, supplies, getting haircuts and running to physicians for last minute physicals.  This year, families were making decisions on the type of learning that they would select for their child.

The Celebration Foundation also put their thinking cap on as to how could the Foundation show our support.

A sign of the times.

A Community Heart Challenge was sent throughout social media. A call to action for our residents that previously purchased and displayed the red heart signs in their lawns, in their windows and on their balconies to take their heart sign and plant it around one of our schools.

The community embraced this idea and took it a step further by writing personal messages on their heart sign to teachers, staff and students. What a sight to see!

This community has heart. I have said it before, and I will say it again.

Our schools have our continued support as our students, teachers, parents and staff navigate the 2020-2021 school year.

Let’s lead with kindness and follow up with lots of patience as we continue to do the pandemic pivot. Together. Every day.

Seeing our neighbors plant their sign in the school lawns, watching students take pictures in front of the welcome back letters and seeing the teachers and staff open the gates both literally and figuratively was a sign of the times.

Celebration High School has heart signs leading our high school students, teachers and staff into the school campus along Celebration Boulevard. The Celebration High PTSA delivered hand sanitizers to teachers and a back to school breakfast buffet of goodies. The Celebration Foundation delivered two microwaves for students to heat up lunches and many ear savers for teachers and staff to use with their masks.

Many know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe we can agree that it takes a town standing together while we remain apart, to make a difference. Every day.