DANVILLE, Ky. — People in Florida don't often get the chance to see snow in person. But for some lucky kids in the Sunshine State, there was enough in Kentucky earlier this month to share.
What began as a lesson about weather and snow turned into a hands-on class project overnight. A former Kentucky school teacher who now lives in Florida discovered that only two of her students had ever seen snow in person.
That gave her an idea, and she gave her sister in Kentucky a call.
"So, I said, 'I want you to make me a snowman, and I want you to overnight him to me and see if he can make it to the school because I want these children in Florida to see snow,'" said Robin Hughes, a special education teacher who lives in Florida.
At first, her sister Amber Estes, wasn't so sure.
"So, I said to her, 'We haven't had a measurable amount of snow.' I was making every excuse in the world, and I accepted the challenge because I knew that I would never have to live up to it," Estes said.
After an early January snowstorm, Estes thought there was enough on the ground to make a snowman. She went into her yard and created Lucky — a Kentucky snowman who got its name in the hopes that it would arrive in Florida intact.
"So, we put him inside the packaging, we wrapped him up in that foil, and we put ice packs in, we sealed him up," Estes said. "There was Styrofoam around the box. Off he went down to the local UPS store."
"So then we went to the classroom and had the kids open it and just the pure joy of seeing that snowman," Hughes said. "To me, that's what teaching is about."
Lucky is still a huge hit in the classroom and the school. Hughes says she'll keep getting creative in the classroom because she believes students learn to think outside the box.
"Anything I can do as a teacher to bring joy to the classroom and also teach them a little something, then it makes it all worth it," Hughes said. "And my sister was just the greatest partner in crime to help me do that. So, he was perfect."
This Earth Day, Lucky will make another transition. After the snowman has melted, the water will go into a new plant to keep his memory alive and teach students how everything comes full circle.
This story was originally published by Rachel Richardson on Scripps station WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.