INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Since schools closed, Glendale Elementary principal Adam Faust and his wife Cat have been streaming a light-hearted version of the school’s daily announcements to children now studying at home, appearing in handmade costumes.
Faust appears in an alligator costume to inform and entertain the “Glendale Gators,” while Cat operates Clover the Cow, a charming Holstein puppet with blue eyeshadow, a hearty laugh, and an endless supply of cow jokes.
Glendale students – and their parents and siblings – look forward to the five-minute morning shows and one day last week the program reached all the way across the Atlantic to Italy where it brightened the day of a 9-year-old boy and his family under stringent lock-down in Milano.
Alessandro Melzi attended Glendale for two years while his parents, Simone and Elena, were on a job assignment here. Even after moving home to Milano, the family continued to enjoy the morning reports posted on the Glendale PTA Facebook page.
Recently, Alessandro’s dad emailed Faust, writing, “This Friday, the 27th, is going be Alessandro’s 9th birthday, and I’m wondering if you can add him in your next birthday wishes. He would be so happy and surprised for this, it would be awesome for him!”
Well, of course. No question. The couple set about creating an extra-special show for March 27.
The intro music was Italian; Faust declared it “Italian Heritage Day,” and shared some Italian facts, and both he and Clover attempted some Italian phrases. When the time came for the birthday shout-out, they congratulated Alessandro and waved a little Italian flag.
In return, the Melzis sent Faust a photo of Alessandro, snapped as he was watching the show. His broad grin relayed his surprise and delight, exactly what the Fausts had hoped for.
Responding to a request from Vero Beach 32963, Simone Melzi provided a sobering description of what daily life is like in Italy these days: “Here in Milano the situation is pretty serious, schools are closed 4 weeks already, regulations from government are day after day more and more restrictive.”
Melzi went on to report that he and his family can leave their apartment only on necessary errands, not to talk a walk or jog, and that they have to carry a written explanation of where and why they going or face fines from police.
Under those circumstances, the Glendale Elementary morning show was a welcome distraction and much appreciated gesture extended by a Vero Beach couple to a 9-year-old boy living in a strange and scary set of circumstances halfway around the world.