Carrie Underwood joined the star-studded lineup of country artists celebrating heroes on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday’s (June 3) CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special.
“Tonight is all about honoring heroes, so I want to give credit to a group of people who are often under-appreciated during the best of times: Teachers and Educators. I have a special place in my heart for this particular group as my sisters are both teachers and my mom is a retired teacher. Now more than ever, we recognize what an important and difficult job they have,” Underwood explained.
“Like all of us, teachers around the country had to adapt to this pandemic with very little warning. Imagine a job that’s all about planning and preparation suddenly became adapting on the fly and coming up with new and creative solutions to keep our children’s education on track, from a distance. There was no playbook for this, there was no lesson plan for teaching kids entirely through a computer.”
Underwood then showcased some shining examples of the kinds of education heroes in communities across the country.
High school teacher Margo Partington of Illinois said, “My teaching lessons have changed completely, I think that they took a hundred and eighty degree turn. I’m doing a lot more check-ins on my students, not about math, but just ‘how’s it going.'”
“We are distance learning for the remainder of the year. Every video starts with our artists’ mantra and it goes something like this: ‘I am kind, I am creative, I am smart, I am growing, I am an artist.'” Elementary art teacher, Dana Fitzpatrick of Maryland explained.
“I teach through instruments and that’s really hard to do over the internet. So I’ve been trying come up with just different videos to kind of get the kids interested in what they can do at home,” Miguel Alvarado, a band teacher from Tennessee expressed.
CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special recognized COVID-19 heroes in the following categories: Healthcare, Education, Business, Community Leaders, Food Industry, Infrastructure, First Responders, US Military, and more. The TV special was executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson; the Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.
The show also included appearances from Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town Florida Georgia Line, Luke Combs, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Reba McEntire, Zac Brown, Brandi Carlile, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown and Lady Antebellum.
The star-studded event aired on CMT at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a three-network simulcast on Paramount Network, Pop TV and TV Land.
Viewers were encouraged to visit CMTOneCountry.com to find out how to give back to those who need it most and see how artists themselves are making an impact during this difficult time.