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Wooten family hosts three international students during shutdown

Joon Ho Yoon ’22 celebrates the arrival of a care package from his parents. The package included many typical South Korean snacks such as seaweed which Sam Wooten ’20 came to enjoy. Photo courtesy of the Wootens.

At the conclusion of the decision to cancel all in-person classes and begin online classes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, head of school Dave Peters sent an email to the Mount Michael community to alert them of the current situation.

Along with the email came a request to the community to open its doors to host the seven day boarders that were staying with families over spring break.

Multiple families decided to host seven day boarders. The Wooten family took in three, Huy Le ‘21, Joon Yoon ‘22, and Andrew Lee ‘22, who had stayed with them over spring break..

“I am very grateful that they let me stay over, especially for such a sudden event like this,” Le said.

While stuck indoors, the family has tried multiple things to keep people entertained. Some of these ideas include board game night, movies, and other games.

“I thought it was going to be pretty fun when we learned that school was not going to be back in session and that they could stay with us,” Luke Wooten ‘22 said. “Our house is already crowded anyways, so I didn’t see any downsides.”

While the kids are enjoying their time with the seven days, the parents are also getting in on the fun. .

“In some ways, it reminds me of when I was a kid,” Teresa Wooten said. “I’m from a big family, so it’s not that difficult for me, since it is how I grew up.”

While it is fun, there is also a lot of space being used and food being eaten. That being said, the seven day boarders are enjoying their time and have been a big help around the house.

“It amazes me how much food and drink that we go through, but I am happy they are comfortable.” Teresa Wooten said. “It has been fun teaching them how to cook, and having them help with chores means a lot.”

The boarders’ parents have also been very supportive of the family, especially Yoon’s parents, who sent in a couple of boxes of food for the whole family to enjoy.

Some of the Wootens particularly enjoyed the seaweed snacks which the family still has even though Yoon and Lee returned to South Korea on April 17.

With the sudden flare of COVID-19 causing multiple changes to everyday life, a little bit of fun with friends has helped. This is just one example of people supporting each other in any way possible.

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