FLORENCE — Well, it started as a way to make kids laugh and now it's mission accomplished.
“I know I did what I set out to do was to make them realize that the world can be so fun and silly and you just got to have fun,” said Florence-Carlton School District crossing guard Katie Houston.
The lady in the pig costume is known by students as Mrs. Katie. Since the 2020 school year, she has been dressing up in costumes to get a smile out of her students — letting them know that they are not alone as times are hard with COVID-19 around.
“You know when I get those really quiet kids or the kids that just kind of don't really show their face as much when I can get them to smile or giggle or you know even an eye roll," said Houston. "I know I did my job.”
Mrs. Katie has dressed up in lots of costumes since the previous school year, never repeating the same one. She has been a ballerina, hotdog, Mario, Yoshi, a Whoopie cushion and so many more. Huston always has a saying that corresponds to her costumes.
“When I was a hot dog I said, 'have a hot diggity dog weekend',” said Houston who recently told students to "have a pig snorting good homecoming.
Huston says that as much as she dresses up to bring joy to the students, it makes her day just a little brighter.
“But I can't tell you the happiness and joy that it brings me," said Houston. "And what it does for me because, yes, our teenagers are struggling but so are US adults.”
Huston dresses up every Friday, in hopes that it reminds kids to be kids on the weekends.