If you remember, as a child, hoping for a day off school because of too much snow on the roads, you'll love this story. Snow days were, of course, a special treat; an unexpected holiday, a chance to trade in books and blackboards for sleds and snowball fights.
Over the past year, in light of escalating stress over the pandemic and its far-ranging fallout, it was sometimes hard to keep sight of life’s simple joys, but in Jefferson County, West Virginia, school superintendent Bondy Gibson never lost focus on the bigger picture and what truly matters.
When a major snowstorm was forecast for her district, Gibson took the initiative to close the schools, but she also seized the moment to remind her community that nourishing the spirit is sometimes just as important as fueling the intellect. Here's the letter she posted on social media last Wednesday:
Dear Jefferson County Schools Community,
For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life.
It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.
So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time. We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow - go build a snowman.
Bondy Gibson Ed.D