LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Principal Jessica Kohler and elementary school staff in Liberty are hoping to paint the town yellow for #YELLOWFORDARNELLE to support beloved first-grade teacher Darnelle Clark as she recovers from COVID-19.
The trend started with Clark’s friends from college who reached out to Kohler to further the reach.
WKBN spoke to Clark earlier this year after her online teaching videos went viral. Called “Clark’s Cozy Corner,” Clark was reading to students by posting videos online weekly during the pandemic.
“In everything that she does, she is smiling, she is positive, she really, really hits the social, emotional goal for us as a staff. She just hits a home run with it every single time she’s here,” Kohler said. “She really makes her kids feel loved, she makes them feel like they’re part of a family, and she also does that with the staff.”
Individuals are asked to wear yellow, Clark’s favorite color, and post a picture on social media with the #YELLOWFORDARNELLE so that others and Clark can see it. Kohler said it’s a fitting color because Clark is a ray of sunshine to all those around her.
“She’s always just like happy and fun, she has a way of making everything bright and sunshine-y,” First-grade teacher Katie Bengala said. “You could be having a bad day, and one of the kids could be having a bad day, and she just makes it better for them.”
Kohler also said the support has found its way outside state lines and that a school in Tennessee posted a photo dressed in yellow in support of Clark.
“That’s just a true testament of who she is as an educator and a person,” she said.
Positivity is one of the many words Kohler and fellow teachers used to describe Clark and something they see her give to the community and school.
“Her positive energy and…she’s able to connect to all the students and staff around her,” First-grade teacher Paula English said.
“She’s always able to find the positive in everything,” said First-grade teacher Stacy Sherlock. “She’s always looking out for other people. If there’s a way that she can help, she always tries to step in and help in any way she can.”
Students, former students, staff and even the school therapy dog, Paws, have been sending Clark messages of support and letting her know how much they love her, and hope the rest of the community can join in tomorrow by wearing yellow.
“We love you, Darnelle,” English, Bengala and Sherlock said in unison.