As I was scrolling through my phone last night, deleting some useless photos, I stopped at the last photo I took before coronavirus shut down New Jersey.

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This picture stopped me in my tracks. I was reading a book about kindness to a classroom of second grade students at Charles L. Spragg Elementary in Egg Harbor City. The date was March 4.

Barely a week later, COVID-19 began to take over, with more and more positive cases popping up in the United States. Eventually, New Jersey would be on a 'shelter in place' order from the Governor, coronavirus would soar in our communities, and everything, including schools, would be shut down.

Reading to this class was such a happy day. It's something I do once a year, and really look forward to. I love getting to know the students and tell them a story or two.

But not long after their teacher Mrs. Boysen snapped this pic on my phone, these kids would be learning from home, unable to spend time with their fellow classmates and friends. So, to me, this photo has become a symbol of how dramatically life in South Jersey changed, and how quickly. Little did these students know, they would be unable to finish out their second grade school year in the classroom.

South Jersey is beginning to open back up, but the school year has been totally cancelled for these kids. I can only hope that my reading them a book about kindness rubbed off during this quarantine experience.

What's the last photo you took on your phone before quarantine set in? Post it in the comment box below!

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