Minnesota high school stadiums turn lights on for the kids

WCCO Radio Newsroom
April 03, 2020 - 10:31 am

You’re not seeing things.

The lights have been turned on at a number of Minnesota high school stadiums in recent evenings.

But this April edition of Friday Night Lights isn’t for games. They’re all canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools instead are lighting up to stay connected with their students and staff during a trying time for not only the education community but for everyone. All school buildings are deserted, classes called off because of social distancing measures, maybe for the rest of the current school year. Now, the people heading up local school districts are showing kids and teachers that they miss them.

The idea of turning on lights in stadium and ballparks to honor students and educators who are now knee-deep in distance learning comes from Colorado and was posted on the Minnesota State High School League website.

Minnesota high schools took it from there.

“It’s kind of a beacon of hope to the students,” said Montevideo school superintendent Luther Heller, appearing on the WCCO Morning News with Dave Lee. “We came upon turning them on in the evening for a minute for each day that the kids have been gone.”

That meant the lights at Montevideo’s field were illuminated for 12 minutes to start out.

“There were several people that came, and sat in the stadium,” he said. “They maintained the social distancing that we want people to have.”

Here is a list of schools that are lighting up for their students, according to the MSHSL’s John Millea

  • Ada-Borup
  • Aitkin
  • Albany
  • Alexandria
  • Barnesville
  • Benson
  • Bethlehem Academy
  • Big Lake
  • Blooming Prairie
  • BOLD
  • Brandon-Evansville
  • Breckenridge
  • Browerville
  • Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
  • Cambridge-Isanti
  • Cedar Mountain
  • Centennial
  • Cloquet
  • Crosby-Ironton
  • Dassel-Cokato
  • Dawson-Boyd
  • Deer River
  • Detroit Lakes
  • East Grand Forks
  • East Ridge
  • Fairmont
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore Central
  • Foley
  • Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop
  • Goodrich-Grygla
  • Grand Meadow
  • Hayfield
  • Henning
  • Hermantown
  • Holy Family Catholic
  • Holdingford
  • Hopkins
  • Hutchinson
  • Jackson County Central
  • Lanesboro
  • Lewiston-Altura
  • Litchfield
  • Lyle-Pacelli
  • Kasson-Mantorville
  • LeRoy-Ostrander
  • Lakeview
  • Little Falls
  • Long Prairie-Grey Eagle
  • Mankato East
  • Mankato Loyola
  • Mankato West
  • Maple Lake
  • Maple River
  • Medford
  • Minneota
  • Minnewaska Area
  • Montevideo
  • Moorhead
  • Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta
  • Mountain Iron-Buhl
  • New Prague
  • New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva
  • Nicollet
  • Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal
  • North Branch
  • Norwood Young America
  • Ortonville
  • Osseo
  • Owatonna
  • Park
  • Pelican Rapids
  • Pierz
  • Pine Island
  • Parkers Prairie
  • Red Rock Central
  • Royalton
  • Rushford-Peterson
  • Rush City
  • St. Anthony Village
  • St. Charles
  • St. Clair
  • St. Peter
  • St. Thomas Academy
  • Sauk Centre
  • Southland
  • Springfield
  • Spring Grove
  • Stephen-Argyle
  • Stewartville
  • Swanville
  • Thief River Falls
  • Tracy-Milroy-Balaton
  • Tri-City United
  • Triton
  • United South Central
  • Wabasso
  • Waconia
  • Wadena-Deer Creek
  • Waterville-Elysian-Morristown
  • Waseca
  • Willmar
  • Winona

“It’s letting the kids know that we’re thinking of them, we’re looking forward to the day that they return,” said Heller. “It’s kind of something to pull everybody together a little.”


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