When COVID-19 shuttered schools in March, students switching to online learning had a lot of adapting to do. As the change of atmosphere and learning style proved difficult for many of her students, Brighton-based educator Faith Martin sought to ease the transition by providing physical copies of required readings.
Martin’s fourth-grade class at Boston Renaissance Charter Public School began reading “The Orphan of Ellis Island” by Elvira Woodruff before shutdowns occurred. When her students complained of hardships completing the text online, Martin used her own money to buy and personally deliver not only a copy of “The Orphan of Ellis Island,” but also a pleasure-reading book for each of her 24 students.
This act, designed to create some sense of normalcy in an ever-changing academic environment, earned Martin recognition from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Martin joined guest host and comedian Sarah Silverman on Nov. 9 for an installment of the talk show’s “Month of Giving Thanks,” a segment running throughout November designed to give back to frontline workers during COVID-19.
In the episode, Martin faced off against a nurse from Florida in a beanbag toss game. Martin ended the contest in second place, but came away from the show with a hefty reward nonetheless. She won a year of paid rent, provided by Shutterfly, to thank her for the support she provided for her students throughout the pandemic.
“Being featured on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ for doing something I love was the experience of a lifetime,” Martin said. “Our students are so resilient and it is such a pleasure to teach them, even during this difficult time.”
Grace Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.