Suburban teacher’s ‘I Miss You Mobile’ brings supplies and air hugs to students stuck at home

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BOLINGBROOK — A west suburban teacher is taking remote learning on the road after she received enough donations to put together a bookstore on wheels, bringing new stories to students stuck at home Tuesday.

Jamie McGee Elementary School has been doing remote learning since the school year started last month. It hasn’t been easy on anyone, but second grade teacher Nicole Farrar found a creative way to meet her 22 students in person. 

Mrs. Farrar, as her kids like to call her, set up a free bookstore in the backseat of her car. 

“What started out as a simple text kind of grew and grew and everyone came through and I got a bunch of books,” Farrar said.

After hearing about her plans, Nicole’s family, friends, and other community members donated books over the past two weeks. 

Farrar made the rounds in her “I Miss You Mobile” to visit each student at home Tuesday, giving them a chance to shop for some new books at the same time.  

“I couldn’t even sleep last night, I was so excited,” Farrar said.

Her students greeted her with giant thank yous and air hugs. Their smiles may have been masked, but the excitement was visible in their eyes.  

“Oh, I wanted to see her so much this made my whole day,” her student Xavier said.

So many donations came in, each student was able to get 10 new books.

“It was really fun because I haven’t seen her in real life for a very long time,” her student Gurbani said.

Even their parents were impressed, saying they love to see the creative way Farrar connects with their kids, whether it’s in person or online. 

“I’ve never had a teacher be so willing with their time like this; whenever we need help with anything she’s always willing to help and go the extra mile,” one parent said. “So she’s doing the pandemic COVID thing right I guess.” 

Farrar  said this project is just as fulfilling for her as it is for her students, and she hopes to see others do the same. 

“Teachers everywhere are working so hard and they’re just all looking for a way to connect, so maybe this will inspire other teachers to do something similar,” Farrar said.

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