When it comes to our teachers here on the SouthCoast, it goes without saying that they've been working strenuously during these abnormal times. Not only are they educating and preparing for our future, but they're taking extra precautions to assure the safety and health of the children.

On Friday, October 15, I was invited to the Elizabeth Carter Brooks Elementary School on Nemasket Street for an Anti-Bullying Day campaign. While it's important to teach the youth the importance of being kind and not being a bully was the focal point, something else caught the corner of my eye. It's called a "Sunshine Cart" and it's designed to uplift the spirits of the staff and teachers at Brooks.

The "Sunshine Committee" of Jen Drisko and Laura Edgcomb are the creators of the cart that strolls the school once per month. Essentially, it celebrates the wonderful things the teachers are doing on a daily basis to brighten their day – hence the name of the program.

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Once a year, the school staff pools together $25 per person, which helps fill the cart full of goodies, treats, and refreshments that are used to surprise the teachers, custodians, secretaries, etc.

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"Just the smirks on the people's faces and making someone's day is the backbone to why we do this," Drisko and Edgcomb said. "It makes them feel special."

When these two ladies aren't pushing around the cart full of goodies, Edgcomb is a first grade teacher and Drisko is a math interventionist. They know firsthand how hard school teachers and staff have been working.

Drisko never forgets a single birthday among the staff. She can be found going around with a card, signed by fellow peers, and even goes as far as decorating the teacher's door with a banner and tassels.

"It's something little that goes a long way," Edgcomb said.

I think this is a great program for schools to adopt to heighten the spirits of their staff. Brooks School is taking the charge of keeping the mental well-being of our teachers and school staff healthy, and I'm here for it.

Kudos to the Sunshine Committee for making a difference. It certainly doesn't go unnoticed.

Teacher of the Month Winners from 2020-2021 Academic Year

These teachers went above and beyond the job description to give their students a great school year despite a global pandemic. Read more about their stories below.