Going the extra mile

Lovejoy+Elementary+School+teacher+Sheryl+Nicholson+biked+32+miles+to+deliver+notes+to+all+her+17+students.+She+created+a+video+with+pictures+from+her+ride.+

Courtesy of Sheryl Nicholson

Lovejoy Elementary School teacher Sheryl Nicholson biked 32 miles to deliver notes to all her 17 students. She created a video with pictures from her ride.

Kindness goes a long way. In this case, 32 miles

With the inability to have all of her students in one room, Lovejoy Elementary School teacher Sheryl Nicholson decided to reach out to her kindergarten class in a more personal approach. Rather than sending a nice email or posting a video message, Sheryl wrote each student a note. She then biked 32 miles to all 17 of her students’ houses to deliver them. 

“Anybody can mail them and we like biking anyway,” Nicholson said. “I thought it would be a good way to see the kids face to face and still maintain social distancing. We stopped at the end of all the driveways and the kids came out to us.” 

A few days before biking, she had to plan her route. This required going into PowerSchool and gathering the students’ addresses and creating a map to follow in a “logical” way. 

“I had green dots all over my Google Maps of all the addresses first and then I traced the best and safest route to go on the bike,” Nicholson said. “It worked out to be a 32 mile loop [that] ended up working out flawlessly [with] us being able to hit all of them.” 

After days of planning, Sheryl and her husband, JB Nicholson, waited until April 26 for ideal riding conditions. They were able to meet every student, except for one who they saw the following day. 

“I know that Mrs. Nicholson loves her students dearly and this act of kindness does not surprise me one bit,” assistant principal Angie George said. “She loves fitness, riding her bicycle and she loves her kids, so what a great way to do both at one time. I think this was another way for her to show her kids that she really loves them, and that in the classroom she really goes above and beyond everyday for her kids.” 

At the end of a normal school day, Sheryl would award an “outstanding” student for that day a tootsie pop. In addition to a handwritten note, she delivered each student a tootsie pop. 

“I thought it was such a meaningful way to show her students that she loves and misses them, while actually promoting exercise too,” kindergarten parent Becky Isaacson said. “I think it’s something that he will remember in the years to come, that his teacher during all of this came directly to his house to bring him a card and a lollipop just to see him in person. I thought it was super special.” 

To remember the special day, she took a picture with every student and created a video.  

“It was so meaningful to hear their voices and to lay eyes on them, face to face,” Sheryl said. “Right before we left, I told them as we were leaving ‘I love you, I’m proud of you, we’ll get through this.’ I told every one of them I loved them and I meant that.”