Teacher delivers sweet treats to students in lieu of hugs

Mary Eden, an eighth-grade English teacher at Louisa County Middle School, couldn't bear to not see her students for the rest of the school year. So she's been baking cookies and delivering them to students' houses.

"Talking on the phone, emailing, and texting with my students is okay, but not enough," she said. "We hardly had a chance to say goodbye, and I miss them terribly. Bringing each student a couple of homemade cookies is a small way to show that I truly care for them. The most heartbreaking part is when a student asks for a hug, and I have to offer a rain check due to social distancing."

Eden learned that DoubleTree, a national hotel chain, had recently made the formula for its chocolate chip cookies available online for free. She decided to make that her go-to recipe.

"I used Google Maps to create a map of the locations of every student's address, then put them into groups of eight to 12," she said. "My routes take me to a different section of the county every day. I keep my hand sanitizer next to me and apply it before and after each delivery to be as safe as possible for my own sake as well as for the sakes of my students and their families. My heart feels better and better as I see my students' smiles just once more."

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