Florida teacher goes out of her way to help struggling student during coronavirus lockdown

A first-grade teacher in Florida went above and beyond last week to cheer up one of her students who appeared to be having a hard time with the coronavirus lockdown.

The teacher, Katie Ricca of North Bay Haven Charter Academy, had been teaching lessons online via Zoom, in addition to storytime in the evenings.

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During one of those storytime sessions, she reportedly noticed that one of her students, 7-year-old Hannah, appeared sad and withdrawn.

A first-grade teacher in Florida went above and beyond last week to cheer up one of her students who appeared to be having a hard time with the coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Kelley Close)

“She left the meeting early so I texted her mom to check in,” Ricca told Good Morning America on Wednesday. “My sweet student told her mom she was sad but didn’t know why.”

That’s when Ricca, who has five kids of her own at home, decided to pay Hannah a visit. Ricca sat with Hannah, six feet apart, in her family’s driveway while reading and talking to her.

“Hannah's class has a Zoom session each evening. Last night she got really sad and kinda shut down. Today her teacher came over and hung out for a bit,” wrote Kelley Close, Hannah’s mom, on Facebook. “They chatted, read books, and just talked. This woman has FIVE kids at home and STILL she sat in my driveway for an hour to make sure Hannah was okay.”

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Close told GMA that Ricca talked with Hannah about her feelings during the “quarantine season,” reminding her that “it’s OK to get bummed out every now and then, it’s OK to chill out and it’s even OK to cry about it if we need to.”

“She reminded Hannah that even though we’re separated, we’re all going through the same thing at the same time,” Close said.

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