BY KATE ALBRIGHT & JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Montclairites are going on bear hunts and are in search of rainbows.
In a community effort, neighbors are placing teddy bears in their windows for children to “hunt” for during the day. While children are turning their windows into rainbows resembling stained glass church windows to give hope to their neighbors.
The national craze of bear hunting during stay at home orders due to COVID-19
is based on Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, according to reports. Residents walking or driving around towns across the U.S. and in Montclair are on a scavenger hunt of sorts as an activity for both adults and children alike who are stuck at home.
In Montclair, the bears are popping up in windows all over town.
Debbie Lansing helped bring the bear hunt to her street.
“It’s almost like candles in the window just saying, ‘we’re here, we’re with you. We support you…'” Bronnie, her miniature poodle is sometimes spotted in the window and mistaken for a bear.
Sarah Vengerik and her mom Jill made a “bear hunt” book to practice counting and writing numbers. She counted 20 bears on her bear hunt.
Some teachers are using the bear hunts to supplement their virtual lessons. Montclair Cooperative school teacher Jennifer May sends her students activities inspired by social media. They hunt for shamrocks, rainbows and bears, and May inspires the students to “chalk your walk” with rainbows as well. The children join her for a lunchtime story hour three days a week.
And then there’s the rainbows everywhere.
In the Huber household, the younger sister makes the drawings while mom does school work with the older sister. The family made two beautiful rainbows of hearts for the “518 rainbow challenge.”
Susan Shin and Jason Andersen made a rainbow in honor of their daughter Kaija, who passed away unexpectedly last August. She loved drawing rainbows and writing encouraging notes, they said.
At Sawyer and Cooper’s home their rainbow has a message in Portuguese, “Tudo vai ficar bem,” meaning everything will be okay.