FULLERTON, Calif. – They are not related by blood or name, but Nancy Karcher and Pam Keller consider each other family.

“We’re such a family and community and I couldn’t imagine not being a part of the kids’ lives every day,” says Nancy Karcher.

Karcher and Keller teach kindergarteners, first, second, and third graders in the multiage program at Orangethorpe Elementary School along with another teacher named Jennifer Alonzo. It has been weeks since the teachers have seen their students because of the safer-at-home emergency order.


“Really, it was something we thought of as soon as this happened because we wanted a way to connect,” says Pam Keller.


The teachers say children need structure and consistency to thrive and that can be hard for their parents who are doubling as teachers and parental figures.

“By having our story time every night at the same time, it’s something in their day that it’s predictable. They know it’s going to happen and provide that safety and security for at least that little bit of time of their day,” says Karcher.

The three teachers take turns reading bedtime stories to their students through Facebook Live at the same time every evening. They do this in their separate homes, but for this news story, Keller and Karcher are reading at a safe distance away from each other. They made that disclaimer before they separately started reading to their students to reinforce the idea of social distancing.

“Our students have really risen up, the families too. They put so many comments and we’re scrolling trying to answer them,” says Keller.

Second grader Nevada Jose misses his class. So he tunes in every night with his little brother, River.

“We can see them on the screen, but not in person. It’s better because of the coronavirus and we don’t get it, but we can still see each other through this,” says 7-year-old Nevada.

He often leaves comments and emojis letting his teachers know that he’s watching.

“Thank you Mrs. Karcher, Mrs. Alonzo and Mrs. Keller,” says Nevada.

The teachers know that their students are living through an unprecedented and confusing time, but Keller and Karcher want their kids to know that they may be far apart for now, but reading to them every night gives them a chance to be closer than ever.