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Sydney Dilling is a 10-year-old student who has dreams of being an animator. Melissa Dilling, her mother, is a career and technology education teacher at a local middle school in Everett, Wash.
The mother-daughter duo has been using their spare time at home to educate and put kids at ease about the ongoing pandemic through an animated web series, “Kids Coping with COVID-19.”
When schools began to close down, Sydney, like many kids her age, was confused and a little scared.
“I was, you know, kind of worried. I was like, can I get it? What's going to happen if I get it? And then I thought of other kids. What could other kids be worried about? Why are they scared?” Sydney told Fox News.
Sydney wanted to find a way to reach other kids who might be uneasy about the current situation our country is facing and turned to animation to help bring everyone together. In one of her school classes, Sydney learned how to animate using the program Wonder Media Story Maker. Since she wasn’t going to be able to continue working on her animation project in school, her mother suggested the two keep animating from home.
“We love Story Maker...it is magic. Kids will just edit and revise; it's speaking, it's listening, it's writing. It's very fun. And 80 percent of it is not on the computer. It's Sydney and I sitting there brainstorming and figuring out what would be best.” said Melissa.
That’s when the idea for their web-series “Kids Coping with COVID-19” was born. So far, the two have produced five episodes with topics ranging from “What can I do for fun?” to “How can I help?”
Their most recent episode, “How can I say thank you?” talks about how kids can show doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers their gratitude.
“We have some family that are in the medical community and we just want to make sure that they feel that we are thanking them,” Melissa said.