While Frisco ISD schools are closed through the end of the school year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the district’s community is finding alternative ways to celebrate teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Little Elm resident and Frisco ISD parent Kimberly Armstrong started the Adopt a Frisco ISD Teacher Facebook group May 2 for parents and the community to celebrate district teachers individually.

Armstrong said she was inspired by similar Facebook groups for graduating seniors and noticed there were not too many groups for teachers.

“My kids were wanting to do something for the teachers,” she said.

As of May 7, over 500 FISD teachers have been “adopted” by community members, Armstrong said, with around 300 teachers who have not been claimed.

When a teacher joins the group, they create an adoption bio with information about what school they teach at, their subject and grade level, their alma mater and their favorite colors, foods, sports teams, drinks and places to shop.

Community members who join the group then comment on each teacher’s post indicating they want to adopt them. Armstrong said those interested can use the search tool to find specific teachers, schools or any teacher who has yet to be adopted under the hashtag #notadopted.

Members of the group include current and past parents of FISD students, Armstrong said.

“Everything is very social,” she said. “It’s connecting a lot of teachers to families that they taught several years ago.”

Once someone adopts a teacher, they connect offline to coordinate gift deliveries, she said. Teachers are then asked to update their bio to indicate they have been #adopted.

The group will continue beyond Teacher Appreciation Week, Armstrong said, as many families have indicated they will continue to adopt teachers beyond this week and want to remain in contact with teachers.

“I don’t see any reason why to shut it down because I think they should be celebrated longer,” she said.

Next week, Armstrong said she will host a virtual Facebook Live bingo game for teachers. Local businesses will help with donating a prize basket for the winner.

Armstrong said she did not anticipate that the Facebook group would reach over 5,000 members five days after creating it.

“It just kind of exploded,” she said. “Moving the tags from #notadopted to #adopted—it’s so heartwarming to see how quickly the parents come in and just snatch up teachers.”

Armstrong said the outpouring of support from the community for FISD’s teachers comes as no surprise to her.

“Our teachers are amazing,” she said, "and not just our teachers, but teachers in general. They show up and get really, truly emotionally invested in what they do.”