The state has directed all school districts in Florida to keep schools closed through the end of the school year due to concerns over the coronavirus. More information is available on our Coronavirus Information page.
Karen Jones, a second grade teacher at Colson Elementary School, has come up with a unique way to get her students excited about reading and writing.
"I've been doing reading quilts since I started here at Colson seven years ago," Jones said.
She got the idea from a former colleague, and adapted it for her own classes.
Jones comes up with a new theme every month, and asks students to write about the theme. She then adds the students' writing assignments with quilt squares, and hangs them in the hallway for a month.
At the end of every month, Jones saves the patterns and writing assignments for each student, and creates a keepsake bound book at the end of the year to show everyone how far they've come in one academic year.
"At the beginning of the year in August, I always have them do words that describe themselves. They have difficulty coming up with the correct words and the correct spelling. And by the end of the year, they're writing full stories," said Jones. "Seeing the progression and how much growth my children have made is phenomenal."
Other teachers at Colson call Jones' quilt project an inspiration.
"Making sure they are momento pieces for the parents and families, she puts that all together on her own time on nights and weekends. To me, that is a truly dedicated teacher and an inspiration, not only for her students but her peers at school," said Jackie MacLean, a first grade teacher at Colson.
"They are so proud of their own work," said Jones. "It gets them excited about reading and writing and it gives them an outlet to express what they want to."