Dr. Day Care Partners with Bryant University Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

Learning and partnering together during these uncertain times

In these unusual times, it is good to see some things still proceeding as normal. During the Spring semester, Dr. Day Care partnered with a Bryant University marketing class for a hands-on learning experience. The project involved students in the course getting social media experience with local businesses. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, everything was upended.

Sharmin Attaran, Phd, Associate Professor at Bryant University partnered a group of five marketing and communications students with Dr. Day Care. These students began working on a plan to utilize social media to showcase Dr. Day Care teachers, educate about working in a day care, and offer tips and advice to families.

This plan was nearly derailed after spring break, when both Bryant University and Dr. Day Care had to temporarily close their doors.

Previously, the close proximity of Bryant University and the Dr. Day Care home office provided a convenient business and education partnership. Both are located on Douglas Pike in Smithfield, RI. Dr. Day Care and Bryant University had to quickly adapt a new structure to do business.

CEO and Founder of Dr. Day Care, Dr. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, stepped in to help guide the students. The Bryant students quickly adapted to the new format and also educated Mary Ann on distance learning. The team of students adapted to the challenge. Junior Mercedes Marie Lahaie said, “Although this new format was a bit challenging to navigate at first, it became a great learning experience on how to adapt and adjust to different obstacles that may arise. Zoom is so beneficial because it makes communicating smoother and leaves less room for misunderstandings. This may not have been the format we had expected to have, but it is working out really well!”

The social media messaging strategy had to shift, too. The students changed their plan to post more information for parents to use while home with their children. One idea was to implement “Fun Activity Friday” posts. Every Friday they post a new craft or activity idea for parents to do with their children. Mercedes stated that “our team wanted to provide parents with fun activities to do with their children that they might not have thought of or that they can use as inspiration for another activity. These posts are definitely helpful during this pandemic where coming up with new ideas for activities can become difficult!”

Dr. Day Care committed to working together with the Bryant University students and is proud to work with them to provide this experience. This has been a rewarding partnership and a learning experience in surreal times.

The Bryant University students are all Juniors from New England and taking classes remotely from home. The team includes:
Kaitlyn DiNapoli – Tewksbury, MA
Peter Elder – Plainfield, NH
Mercedes Marie Lahaie – Hopkinton, MA
Emmy Markos – Ipswich, MA
Michael Queenan – Franklin, MA

Dr. Day Care Partners with Bryant University Students During COVID-19 PandemicDr. Day Care Partners with Bryant University Students During COVID-19 Pandemic