By Juli McDonald

NORWOOD (CBS) – The hallways are empty, and the classrooms – quiet. The threat of coronavirus has closed our schools. But teachers all across Massachusetts are going above and beyond, finding creative ways to reach their kids.

In Easton, for example, reading specialist Karen Silverstein from the Moreau Hall School is spending hours on FaceTime calls with her students. She patiently helps them sound out the letters and practice their important reading skills.

The methods may be different from district to district, but the goals are very much the same.

“We’re really trying to keep their interest,” said Saint Catherine’s School teacher Christine DiCesare. “If we can keep their interest and go from there, we’ve got them.”

Teachers are leading science lessons, like Principal Beth Tanner and Vice Principal Anne Noah building a double helix – with social distance!

“We hope after you do this project and before you do this project, you use hand sanitizer!” Ms. Tanner said.

Music teachers, like Mrs. Cichon from Charlestown’s Warren-Prescott School, are recording songs for their students.

In Groton, Jennie Fitzkee is spending time reading chapter books – uploading the videos to her YouTube channel for her young readers from the Groton Community School.

And Miss Cindy from Walpole’s Blessed Sacrament School has even introduced her kids to her very unique pet – her chicken, Nugget!

In addition to learning, it’s about maintaining that sense of community.

“There’s so much stress at times like this that I think it’s a nice thing to be able to connect with students and say hey let’s talk about the positive. What’s good that’s happening in our lives? Why should we be thankful every single day?” said Saint Catherine’s teacher Ted Zayka.

All making the most of this time, ‘til they’re together again.

“Enjoy your time home. Have fun. I’ll be with you soon! Bye bye!” Miss Cindy said.

Juli McDonald

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