(KEYC) — Many schools in the state are turning on the lights at athletic fields on weeknights as a way to honor those impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
That includes the Class of 2020, with many special events being canceled for seniors as the final chapter of their high school careers come to a close.
At Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School, some of the faculty members decided to put their own twist on things by turning the lights on at 8:20 p.m., or 20:20 military time, on Monday, April 20, and leaving the lights on for 20 minutes and 20 seconds accompanied by music, concluding with the school fight song and star-spangled banner being played.
“We thought what can we do to make things extra special tonight, we thought, let’s hook up the scoreboard, count it out to 20:20, put some sentimental music in there to get some memories going, and it turned out really nice," explained Billy James, an LCWM educator and linebackers coach for the LCWM football team.
It’s just one ways the staff is giving back to a senior class that’s dealt with plenty of adversity in the past month.
“You can’t make up for graduation, you can’t make up for prom, so we’re trying to think of anything little we can do," James continued. “Hopefully, they watched over the livestream, or watch highlights later, or watch whenever they want, so they can enjoy it and the music and hopefully bring back some memories from high school.”
This is just one of the many examples of schools in our area recognizing those seniors and acknowledging that students and staff will reunite once again.
”It’s great, the whole education community is pulling together through this whole thing. I’m proud to be a teacher and coach, some of the ideas have just been wonderful, so it’s great to see all this stuff come together," James added.
For now, though, schools will continue to show their support in many creative ways until we all get through this pandemic together.
Hundreds of schools across Minnesota are leaving the lights on at baseball and football stadiums, even with their seasons on hold.
In Minnesota, they are calling it the 'Be the Light’ initiative.
It’s an effort to show support and stand in solidarity with their students, staff, and communities.
Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School has joined the movement, putting their lights on for 20 minutes and 20 seconds in honor of the class of 2020. They’re one of at least 238 Minnesota High Schools taking part.
“Wanting to send a message out, a message of hope to our school district, the residents, parents, families, but especially our graduating seniors. Even during the distance learning, we are here; we don’t have students in the building, but we’re here working and we want to convey that message,” LCWM Superintendent Tom Farell explained.
The Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School plans to switch on their lights every Monday through the month of April.
You can find a full list of the schools taking part by visiting the Minnesota State High School League’s Facebook page.