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An elementary teacher in Indiana was missing her students, so her wife created a way for them to safely embrace again.
With the use of 12 reusable bags and a little creativity, Shelby Pavelka, was able to make a plastic barrier complete with arm holes on the front door of their home. Kelsey Pavelka, second grade teacher, was able to hug her students again as they stopped by to visit on Wednesday.
“Most students ran up to my door squealing!,” Pavelka told CNN. “Then we hug a bunch of times and talk about all the things we’ve been doing. There’s usually a lot of jokes told and dance moves on display!”
Pavelka, who teaches in Muncie, said she originally saw the idea on TikTok as people were using this method to hug family members. The quarantine hug setup is equipped with a stool for the kids to step up on and a variety of disinfectants.
“Many parents have shared that their student really needed this,” she said.
The dual language teacher said this moment of real life connection had a special impact on one of her students that had been depressed lately.
“When they got back from my house, he hopped in the kitchen to make himself grilled cheese and he hasn’t wanted to do that in over a week.”
After each hug, Pavelka walks the students through cleaning the plastic barrier, stool and even wiping off the disinfectant containers. She said 14 of her students came by to visit.
CNN’s LaRell Reynolds contributed to this report.