Soon, double bear Elizabeth Kopelan is making a difference in the Macon community through her efforts to spread the positive, one card at a time.
Kopelan, a graduate of Tift College of Education and a current graduate student, began teaching 3K at the First Presbyterian Day School in the fall of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought a wide wave of despair to many, including health professionals.
However, the opportunity to make a positive impact came when the father of one of Kopelan’s students turned to a teacher to share his experience as a doctor at Colosseum Northside Hospital, now Piedmont Macon-North.
“She came up to me and said,‘ Honestly, people are struggling. Is there anything we can do to make their days brighter? ”Kopelan reminded. “We decided to make postcards. I just sent them home with that student and her mom gave them to the hospital. It’s been filmed since then. “
As an educator, Kopelan wanted to note the work done by health professionals in difficult times for both professions.
“In a sense, we are both necessary workers, and people in our professions do not feel as valued as they should be, and underestimated,” Kopelan said. “It’s a thankless job, but I don’t think it should be – it shouldn’t be.”
The postcard-writing project, shown on Macon 41NBC, was a resounding success as many health professionals were thrilled with the excitement and joy of the children’s heartfelt messages. This prompted Kopelan to once again continue the tradition this school year with additional components such as posters and videos.
“Many of our parents are nurses or doctors at local hospitals, and when they came through the motor line to pick up their child, they said,‘ By the way, thank you very much, ’” Kopelan said. “They were very receptive and happy to have received the postcards, and say it makes them feel loved and respected.”
The project also allowed Kopelan to broadcast the mission of the First Presbyterian Day School, equipping students to change the world for the glory of God.
“I think that was one way to do it. I mean, during the global pandemic, we hit rock bottom, “Copelan said.” But it was a way to reinforce the message that the Lord is near you, and that’s really comforting. ”
Kopelan cites Mercer’s experience as helpful to encourage her to give back through her passion for education and local service.
“I think Mercer has played a big part in the idea that community and school should go hand in hand,” Kopelan said. “I was able to do a few projects at Mercer and learned that it’s not just a person. We all work together to support each other. “
Dr. Jay Feng, Professor of Education and Director of M.Ed. The program at Tift College of Education, describes Kopelan as a sympathetic and caring teacher, passionate about his work.
“She is always looking for better ways to meet the needs of her students,” Dr. Feng said. “We really do our best to teach our teachers to be leaders and advocates for children, and she does just that. I had the pleasure of working with her at M.Ed. program, and she’s an outstanding student who does a very good job in my graduate school. ”
The chaplain is constantly guided by the unified force of the community and wants to convey this message to his students and others.
“I wanted to inform my students that they are not too young and not too young to make an impact that can help others,” Kopelan said. “At Mercer, everyone is trying to change the world. My community is my world, and I have to start with that – my community. “