'Hope is not canceled': Fremd HS staff inspires students with video

  • Fremd High School teachers and staff -- 137 in all -- took part in a video sharing inspirational messages and encouragement for students staying home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Fremd High School teachers and staff -- 137 in all -- took part in a video sharing inspirational messages and encouragement for students staying home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vimeo Video Screenshot

 
 
Updated 3/31/2020 4:45 PM

Hope is not canceled.

That's the message Fremd staff members sent to students in an inspirational video posted on Vimeo that attracted more than 1,000 views in a few hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 10 minute video, the idea of Fremd special education teacher Jessica Medinah, features 137 teachers and staff members holding up personalized motivational signs for students who are learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced Illinois schools to close.

"Fremd is a great community," Medinah said. "From top to bottom, everyone cares. We thrive on the energy from our students, and it's hard not to see them and our colleagues. Everyone needs a little uplift right now. That's what we wanted to bring."

With Coldplay serving as background music for the video, each teacher holds up a sign before virtually "passing" the sign to the next teacher. Editing together the dozens of clips took several hours for veteran Fremd art teacher Jeremy Malinowski, who specializes in digital art.

"There's a lot of uncertainty right now, and there's still a lot of pressure being a student," he said. "Sometimes they don't realize how much we care, and this was a way for us to tell them."

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Medinah put out the call on Friday and by Sunday Malinowski received 137 videos. After uploading the finished product to Google Drive, the system soon crashed due to the large number of District 211 accounts trying to view the video.

The impressive response hasn't surprised Malinowski.

"When we're asked to come together, Fremd is one of those places that really does it well," he said.

After closing with the words "Hope is not canceled," the video adds the message "See you soon."

"There are no technical gimmicks or anything, it's just raw," Malinowski said of the video. "It's just people showing that they care."

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