DOWNINGTOWN, PA — On April 21, messages of unity, hope and pride spread across Downingtown Area School District as hundreds of students, parents and residents showed their school spirit through Operation Decorate Downingtown.
The initiative, created by Athletic Director Corey Sigle and Assistant Athletic Directors Michelle Goss and Renee Harty, asked residents to decorate their home, doorstep or yard with Downingtown Area School District (DASD) colors and athletics gear as a way to show support and solidarity throughout the district.
“On March 16, we saw an abrupt end to in-person classroom instruction, athletic events and other school functions. In a show of unity and togetherness, the athletic department wanted to remind everyone that we are one, and together, we will get through this. In a social-distance-friendly way, our school community took to the challenge, painting the town in blue and gold. The support and pride that was on display today was truly amazing.”
Since the Governor’s school closure announcement, DASD has moved operations online, providing daily instruction via lessons and assignments. Superintendent Emilie Lonardi explained, “DASD is a 1:1 district, meaning there is one device per student, which has helped to ease the transition into the online environment. Teachers and administrators provide instruction and support online throughout the week to make sure our students are engaged and learning.”
Operation Decorate Downingtown is not only a fun way to show district pride, but also one of the many ways DASD is supporting student mental health and wellness during the pandemic. School counselors and prevention specialists continue to provide services online, thousands of meals have been distributed to families in need, and teachers and administrators check in regularly with students.
Director Sigle noted, “Supporting student wellness is particularly important during these uncharted times. Operation Decorate Downingtown serves as a reminder that having a positive outlook and mindset can help us overcome the tough times. Even though we are “socially distant”, we are all supporting each other. Downingtown is a special place, with special people; together we are Downingtown strong.”
Dr. Lonardi agreed, adding, “I am so grateful for the dedication, flexibility and resilience our district has shown. Parents, caregivers, family members, board members, teachers, principals, staff and community members – all have come together to help our students find success during this difficult time. Today’s displays were truly representative of our district’s unity. Now more than ever, I am DASD Proud!”
A video sharing all of the uplifting and creative decorations can be found at www.dasd.org/operationdecorate.
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