In September, Reebok honored nurses and frontline workers by featuring them in a shoe collection. Now, the second Reebok x Wonder Woman campaign puts the spotlight on another vital group of essential workers: teachers.
The Boston-based company debuted the line Wednesday with the help of four education professionals from the Boston area. In a release, Reebok commended each for adapting to the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has upended their professional and personal lives.
Many school districts statewide are teaching classes remotely, with students and teachers having to interact online all or part of the time. And, as with so many other parents, teachers are juggling changing work routines along with their own family responsibilities.
“Over the past nine months, teachers have worked tirelessly to provide their students and parents with some semblance of normalcy either virtually or physically in the classroom,” the statement read. “The four women featured in the campaign share their stories of navigating Covid-19 as both teachers to dozens of children but also their own children at home.”
Reebok’s campaign roster includes Courtney Gould, an art teacher in Malden; Rachel Kinnealey, a physical education and health teacher; Keisha Lewis, a paraprofessional and teacher; and Jennifer Rutland, the executive vice president of Realizing Children’s Strengths, a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids with developmental disabilities.
The shoe line itself features several fitness and lifestyle footwear options: the NanoX, Harman Ripple Double, Club MEMT, and Strength. Those who participated in the campaign spoke on the pandemic’s effects in a short documentary and were photographed proudly sporting the shoes in front of a comic book-like background.
“It all feel very surreal,” Gould said. “Educators and mothers everywhere are working so hard to make this time as normal as we can for our children and our students. Taking a step back and looking at the final product is just amazing.”
Gould acknowledged how teaching art to children age 8 and under is difficult this year. Her 100 students draw, paint, and sculpt from remote locations miles away from her — some without the art supplies usually available at school.
She said the teacher-focused campaign is a win for educators everywhere who are persevering for the sake of their students.
“There’s so many people that are deserving of this accolade,” she said. "Because educators everywhere are really working in overdrive to make this year as successful as it can be.”