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Education Lab

Need a coronavirus break? Story time with Fresno’s Bob Nelson is nicest the thing online

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• • •

These are uncertain times and good news is hard to come by.

But while we still have more questions about the coronavirus response, good things are happening all the time in Fresno and our surrounding communities. You still can help others and get help. (See below).

And it may not be the most critical help available, but watching Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson read children’s stories on YouTube is my favorite.

Want a five-minute coronavirus break? Nelson reading BJ Novak’s “The Book With No Pictures” is just about the nicest thing on the Internet. Check it out here.

(He calls it the “greatest book of all time,” which is a pretty good plug from a professional educator. Novak should consider making that a dust-jacket blurb.)

You can subscribe to Nelson’s YouTube channel here. (And I think you should.)

Nelson reads enthusiastically and seeks to comfort young students, with stories in English and Spanish and sharing kind, calming words.

It kinda reminds me of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

“It’s hard being away from one another,” he says in one video.

And like Fred Rogers, he gently encourages kids to be nice and to help others.

“What you need to do today is find some stuff to do. Exercise. Read. Do something to help and, better yet, find somebody to serve.”

And he makes sure to tell students to “take care of yourself.”

“Wash your hands again and again like you’ve been cutting jalapenos and you want to touch your eye.”

The world just feels a little calmer, a little nicer in Mister Nelson’s neighborhood.

More helpful resources, tips

Where to get free lunch and breakfast in Fresno County? Click here.

Need help setting your kids up for distance learning? Click here.

Want to help others through this crisis? Click here.

Want help getting through this crisis? Click here.

Ask the Ed lab

Do you have an education question you’d like us to answer? Let us know! Contact the Ed Lab edlab@fresnobee.com.

The Education Lab is a local journalism initiative that highlights education issues critical to the advancement of the San Joaquin Valley. It is funded by donors. Learn about The Bee’s Education Lab here.

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