The Man in the Yellow Hat

If you were walking the streets of Shorewood this fall and thought you imagined seeing Curious George prancing around with the Man in the Yellow Hat, no, your eyes did not deceive you. That was Thomas Dittl, a 1st grade teacher at Atwater Elementary, finding a creative way to engage with his students.

Thomas Dittl, 1st grade teacher at Atwater Elementary School.
Thomas Dittl, 1st grade teacher at Atwater Elementary School.

“Two weeks ago I created video content on the iPad that I shared with the families. I created a Curious George themed music video tied to the Atwater PERKS for my staff talent contest. I began using Curious George as fun, engaging lessons to get students familiar with the characters.”

Thomas is no stranger to using technology in an educational setting. “I have been a part of the iPad pilot group since 2018 and was part of the district technology committee from 2017-2019.” Thomas is referring to a program funded by SEED that has been critical in recent months as our educational model shifted to virtual learning.

Thomas has had to lean more heavily on the technology available to him during this pandemic. Thanks to SEED donors, iPads and Chromebooks were available to our staff and students to use as we learn in a virtual space. Thomas is a shining example that if you pair creativity, hard work, and innovation together, you can be successful in a virtual environment.

Owen Dondersloot engaged in Mr Dittl's class at home during virtual learning.
Owen Chapman engaged in Mr Dittl’s class at home during virtual learning.

“I have used Seesaw as a means to communicate with families and empower students… creating and crafting digital education activities and experiences that equitably reach and involve all learners,” Thomas explained.

If you watch his video, and we highly encourage you to, you will see Mr. Dittl placing painted stones around Shorewood. “I am asking students and families to digitally, or in real life, paint and decorate rocks with what makes them happy and leave them in places for others to discover. [Helping them] to have some empathy and spread joy.”

Decorated stones that have been placed around Shorewood by Mr Dittl.
Decorated stones that have been placed around Shorewood by Mr Dittl.

While our community is so grateful for the dedication of teachers like Mr. Dittl, he shares in the sentiment of giving thanks. “Please extend my sincere thanks to everyone at SEED and all of the SEED donors for all the amazing work done on behalf of each and every student in Shorewood. Only through a combined and connected group of like-minded people can we achieve equity and excellence in education.”

The Man in the Yellow Hat stops to read a book with his friend Curious George.
The Man in the Yellow Hat stops to read a book with his friend Curious George.

Thank you donors for partnering with our School District, SEED, and our community to support our children and faculty during a pivotal time! And we are not out of the woods by any means, more is needed to ensure our children succeed this year and beyond. Please consider donating to the SEED annual fund, any amount helps.

Tax ID Number: 04-3750042