During these trying times, many parents are unsure as to the future of education and what many are calling the new norm. Does the new norm mean students will forever require protective masks? Does it mean students will no longer be able to embrace their family or friends with something as simple as a hug? Will a social distance of six feet remain indefinitely and what will happen to students’ ability to learn in a traditional school setting? Many students need that one-on-one contact with teachers and other students. Moreover, what measures are being put in place to ensure students remain connected to what matters most, i.e., the human touch? Maybe it’s time for the community to come together and provide valuable resources to one another. While many families are self-quarantining, students should be exposed to opportunities for safe learning, fun activities, and physical interaction. Some school districts have taken measures to install (cubicle-style) portable plexiguard shields in every classroom, similar to the way they have in many casinos. However, this is probably very expensive. Yet, it provides a higher measure of prevention. On the other hand, online learning is an option. However, even the online environment could incorporate resources that allow parents, school districts, and communities to collaborate and pool together resources to ensure that students feel connected. For example, when a teacher is reviewing a book online, the student should have a physical copy of the same book; they need to touch it! Also, parents could actively engage in student learning in a manner that allows a personal touch, especially with siblings. Of course, this is just one example. I’m sure there are many others. Needless to say, our collective ideas could create a treasure trove of literary activities that are fun and engaging, especially now! To that end, Black Butterfly Books LLC has children’s books for ages 5-12. Penny Candy the Hopscotch Trails is for students in Grades K-5 and That’s My Car is for students in Grades 4-7. Both books are available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online bookstores.

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