Elementary education major Macee Graham takes to Facebook Live to keep the littlest learners engaged.
Macee Graham on the at-home set of 'Miss Macee's Morning Meeting.'
“Good morning, friends!” Macee Graham says, before leading her students, who are tuning in via Facebook Live, in a song to learn the months of the year.
As the host of “Miss Macee’s Morning Meeting” every weekday at 10 a.m. on Facebook, Graham, who majored in elementary and early childhood education at Cal U, is reaching out to children who are learning from home as schools and learning centers have closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Children need consistency,” said Graham, who is the assistant director and classroom coordinator at Allie Alligator Learning Center in Cranberry Township, Pa. “I wanted to provide a way for them to be able to continue to learn and have some type of routine.”
When the local school district closed, Graham got creative. She started doing a video to teach children the months and days of the week and read books out loud. When the center closed, too, Graham turned her home into an online classroom.
“It’s my passion for teaching that made me want to do this,” she said. “I can tell you that it is a full-time job to prepare these lessons, and it is not easy to teach over a phone. I can’t just hand them letter flashcards to learn the alphabet. You have to be creative about how you can stay connected and engaged.”
Many parents have reached out to tell Graham how much their kids enjoy the lessons.
Some made donations for supplies, such as more books, a fancier calendar that looks like the one at the learning center, and a tripod for her camera.
“It’s been wild,” she said of the response. “I was just trying to do this to help the kids from the local school district and the center, but now we have kids from 17 or 18 states and six different countries.”
Graham is grateful for all the technology that makes this style of learning possible.
“We are very lucky to have the technology that we do,” she said. “It’s simple. I hear from families who are watching on their TVs using apps like AirPlay. I feel like technology is so easy and so available for us.”
Graham said she wants to continue the online education even after normal operations resume for schools and education centers.
“I want to continue doing this once they’re back in school or even just over the summer. I’m going to pre-record lessons on different topics that parents and children can refer to if they want. I may even take requests from parents. If they think a lesson on bike safety in the summer would be helpful, for example, I could do a lesson on that.
“I want to keep this as a resource for parents and kids.”