First-graders at All Saints’ Episcopal School just started an assignment that will take a decade to complete.
Bury a time capsule in the ground then open it up in 10 years to take a look back at what happened this year when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools across America, Tennessee and even their small school in Hamblen County.
“This is part of history we are living right now,” said Randi Sonon, the All Saints’ teacher who came up with the idea. “It’ll give them a chance to look back.”
All Saints’ Episcopal School, like other schools throughout the U.S., closed as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and started doing classes online. Sonon said they tried to make sure there were different themes as the classes conducted its online learning.
One of the themes the class came up with was the time capsule.
She said for a week the students started collecting things to remind them of the event. Some students collected newspaper articles, some students who had birthdays over the past month collected birthday candles and some collected pictures.
“It was me wanting a positive spin on something negative,” Sonon said.
She said it surprised her a bit, but even some whole families got involved. Parents started helping the children and even older brothers and sisters became involved.
“The whole family got involved,” she said.
The idea was to bury the time capsules at the end of the school year.
“They got to keep adding to it as long as they wanted,” she said.
Even Sonon said she got into the time capsule idea after the students became involved.
“I loved seeing their pictures,” she said. “One little boy was like, ‘I got to use a post hole digger!’”
The day for the time capsules to be buried was last Friday, Sonon said.
The time for the students to open them back up will be 2030 when the now 6 or 7-year-olds will be in high school and teenagers.
“I’ve encouraged them to keep it buried 10 years,” she said.