Jasper City Schools joins 'Be the Light' movement

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Jasper City Schools is joining the “Be the Light” movement that is uniting communities across the country.

“Be the Light” started at a high school in Texas, and the movement’s concept is simple - turn on stadium lights each week as a symbol of solidarity and hope for a brighter tomorrow once COVID-19 is no longer forcing social distancing and causing the closure of schools.

The stadium lights of Ki-Ro Gambrell Field and lighting at other playing fields in the Jasper City Schools district will be turned on every Friday night at 8:20 (20:20 military time) for the remainder of the school year.  

“It’s just an opportunity for us to be a light during a dark time in our community and in the United States,” Jasper City Schools Athletics Director Jonathan Jordan said.

Jordan said the lights are meant to show support for first responders and others serving during this difficult time. “Be the Light” also serves to let seniors, student athletes, and all students know that they are not being forgotten.

“We just wanted to do something to let people know that we’re thinking about them,” Jordan said. “The Class of 2020, they’re kind of in limbo right now, so as a system, we wanted to let them know that we are thinking about them and what they’ve done for us.”

He added, “It’s been a hard time for the kids, teachers, coaches and student athletes.”

Jordan said the school system is encouraging community members to turn their porch lights on at 8:20 p.m. each Friday to join in the “Be the Light” effort.

Lights will remain on for 20 minutes each Friday evening.

Jasper City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Jackson said a parent, Steven Brown, suggested that the school system join the “Be the Light” movement.

“We just want our seniors and all of our students to know that our hearts and minds are with them, and we know that it’s difficult for them not to have the traditional senior year that we would want them to have,” Jackson said. “We want them to know that we’re thinking about them and we’re pulling for them.”

Jordan said turning the lights on at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) is intentional, as a way to recognize the 2020 senior class.