EUGENE, Ore. -- As classes have turned to distance learning for students and staff across Oregon, families are searching for ways to remain connected, even during a pandemic.
Here in Eugene, there is now an opportunity to do just that.
“Eugene School District 4J will be sharing stories of kindness and caring and connections throughout this pandemic under #4JBetterTogether,” said spokesperson Kerry Delf.
It’s a campaign inviting the community to share their stories of positivity to showcase what they’ve learned and accomplished and to keep the district united.
The 4J district announced Wednesday a new way to honor the class of 2020 to shine a light during the pandemic. It’s part of a nationwide campaign called “Be the Light” and schools are lighting stadiums to honor high school seniors.
“We also ask that people turn on their own porch lights and participate in honoring their senior,” Delf said. “If anyone wants to take a picture of their senior in front of their porch light, we’d be happy to see that on social media.”
In Eugene, 4J high schools will be turning on their stadium lights every Friday through June 12 and the community is encouraged to turn on their own porch lights for 20 minutes and 20 seconds beginning at 8:20 on Fridays.
The district will also soon be handing out special “Class of 2020” yard signs for free to go up in yards, front doors or windows. Each high school will have a distinct color, logo and design, and the signs will be provided to every senior in the district.
Digital images are available now, and families will soon get information about how and when they can pick up a physical sign early next month.
For many high school seniors, the school year took a twist that no one expected. However, they said they will never forget how the community stepped up to honor the Class of 2020.
“Feeling seen and kind of heard by the community is really valuable so even if it’s a yard sign, stuff like that, really does go a long way for us,” said Michaela Kearney, Sheldon High School senior.
“I’m just thankful that everybody is recognizing that this is hard and that something has been taken away,” said Piper Matson, Sheldon High School senior. “It's really cool that people are still looking to help us get through this.”
To join in on the 4J Better Together campaign, your stories and highlights can be shared through a Google form on the school district’s website.