Monday, July 15, 2024

School Welcomes Kids Back With a COVID-19 Safety Version of Frozen\’s \’For the First Time in Forever\’

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High Angle View Of Artist Drawing On Street With Chalk

After an in-person school year cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, educators at Osborn Hill School (OHS) in Fairfield, Connecticut thought it was time to embrace the upcoming 2020-2021 school year and welcome students back—finally!—with a little surprise. And, honestly, after months of remote schooling, kids missing their friends, a nonstop coronavirus news cycle, and parents exhausted from, well, all of it, we could all use a little pick-me-up right about now.

For the elementary school's virtual open house, OHS staff remade the Frozen hit "For the First Time in Forever" made famous by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, aka sisters Anna and Elsa—but with a COVID-19 twist. With lyrics about properly wearing a face mask, social distancing, and washing hands, the video is a warm welcome for students, plus a glimpse at what the new school year will bring due to the pandemic.

In OHS's take on the popular Disney song, the staff shows off their excitement for the students' return, singing, "I can't wait to see everyone, especially the new kindergarteners!" and "You don't know how much that you've been missed."

"Anmarie Galgano, our school’s Elementary Program Facilitator (think assistant principal), has a musically talented family, with her husband Tom being a music teacher in New York State and her two high school-aged daughters taking after them," says David Hudspeth, OHS principal. "She wrote the lyrics with her family on a car ride one weekend and then did all the filming in the first weeks of returning to school." 

The song, which you definitely won't be able to get out of your head—you've been warned!—is a sweet reminder that teachers are just as eager to see their students as the kids are to get back to school and back to a sense of normalcy. As one staffer sings, "'Cause for the first time in forever, there'll be students in our rooms," as kids wearing masks fill the school's halls and sit 6 feet apart at desks.

"Over the years at our school, we have developed several videos as a morale boost and to share with families and students at the annual school variety show," says Hudspeth. "This year, with all the discomfort and uneasy feelings of our current situation, Anmarie hatched this idea to bring some joy out of the discomfort. I am honored to get to sing in it with her, but Anmarie deserves all the credit for its design and creation."

Written in chalk at the school as the video comes to a close are inspirational messages for the kids: "Welcome back!" "So glad you're here!" "You fill our hearts!" "You're where you belong!" Now that's the kind of positive energy students, parents, and educators need as they kick off the 2020-2021 school year.

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