Mimi’s Kinder Connection offering the popular adventure to local residences
by Rob Taylor Jr., Courier Staff Writer
The coronavirus pandemic—no child has ever seen anything like it.
The kids are out of school—at first, it could have been construed as “fun” not to have school in the beginning, until children, parents and the nation alike realized that students going to a physical school wouldn’t happen for, possibly, the rest of the school year.
Shemaria Scharmann, a licensed elementary school teacher and founder and CEO of MiMi’s Kinder Connection, said the pandemic has forced many kids out of their “comfort zone.”
They’re used to going to school, being with friends, learning from their favorite teacher, etc. They’re used to hopping on the school bus or walking home with friends.
“I’ve been encouraging parents to let them express how they feel” about the coronavirus pandemic and its residual effects on kids, Scharmann told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, April 6. “Do things with them like simple dance parties (in the home), let them ride their bike outside, or get in your yard and do things there.”
And since Scharmann provides a plethora of community-based services under the Mimi’s Kinder Connection umbrella, such as educational consulting and event planning, she’s decided to “Egg Your House” just in time for Easter Sunday, April 12. She’s offering families a way to hold an Easter Egg Hunt in their own back (or front) yard, by providing (aka, hiding) plastic Easter eggs filled with candy, toys and stickers for the children. Scharmann, who has previous experience hosting public Easter Egg Hunts, such as at churches, said it’s the perfect way for parents, grandparents or other relatives to surprise the little ones who’ve been confined to their homes for the past few weeks. They can have some Easter fun, as many public Easter Egg Hunts have been canceled due to the pandemic.
Scharmann will come to a home and place the eggs in the yard, along with an educational theme that kids can relate to. The cost is $20 for 20 eggs, $35 for 40 eggs and $50 for 60 eggs. All prices include an educational theme in the yard. Scharmann told the Courier that already, a grandmother in Penn Hills contracted her to place the Easter eggs in the grandmother’s yard, and on Monday, April 6, her grandkids, whom she hadn’t seen in awhile, were excited to hunt for the eggs and find the goodies inside them.
Scharmann said she works with interested parents/grandparents on which day the Easter eggs and corresponding theme are to be placed in the yard.
Scharmann is a 2000 graduate of Wilkinsburg High School, and earned her bachelor’s in early education and K/4 from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. She taught kindergarten and first grade in Arizona for several years, and also taught fourth grade at Kelly Elementary School in Wilkinsburg.
As the country seems to be on “pause” as residents “Stay-at-Home” to slow the spread of coronavirus, Scharmann said that with her more than 15 years experience teaching children, she knows it’s important to discuss the virus with kids.
“A 2- or 3-year-old, they don’t quite understand, but you should still talk about it because they can see your emotion,” Scharmann told the Courier, directed to parents. “Kindergarteners, first-graders, they see things, they ask questions. They understand a lot more than people give them credit for.”
This Easter weekend will be unlike anything anyone’s ever experienced. But maybe, just maybe, an Easter Egg Hunt in your own backyard might provide some sense of normalcy in this truly atypical circumstance.
(Shemaria Scharmann of MiMi’s Kinder Connection can be contacted at 412-902-8932 or email@example.com.)
(ABOUT THE TOP PHOTO: SHEMARIA SCHARMAN)