NBC10 spotlights Cape May County educator for Teacher Appreciation Week

“We visit a lot of classrooms,” said Philadelphia’s NBC10 morning anchor Erin Coleman. “But we’ve never come across a teacher who prepared for our visit as much as Nicole DelCorio!” 

Co-anchor Keith Jones agreed as he and Coleman chatted briefly with an NJEA staff member as the anchors prepared to host a televised broadcast of Philadelphia’s iconic Broad Street Run. 

Nicole DelCorio is a third grade teacher at Middle Township School #2 in Cape May County. No stranger to television, DelCorio was one of many participants in NJTV’s Learning Live that broadcast lessons for New Jersey students as they sheltered in their homes during the first year of the COVID pandemic. 

While DelCorio’s students were all back in school for the 2021-22 school year, she was one of many people nationwide who caught COVID just before the 2021 holiday break. As a result, her entire class was required to quarantine at home. 

“I was devastated,” DelCorio recalled. “I was in urgent care crying—I had 23 eight-year-olds that I felt I was letting down. We were on Zoom again for everything.”  

An early riser, DelCorio watched the 4 to 7 a.m. broadcast of “NBC10 News Today” anchored by Coleman and Jones. The co-anchors announced a contest called, “A Morning Brew with You,” where residents in the news affiliates viewing area could chat virtually about the news with the anchors while sipping from a coffee mug shipped from NBC10. 

“But when I said, ‘My class watches you,’ they sent mugs for me and my class,” DelCorio said.  

Back in person by the time the virtual chat would have occurred, and after many of the COVID restrictions for schools had been lifted in New Jersey, Coleman and Jones asked to visit the school in person. Now they sent mugs for all of the students and staff in the school along with handwritten notes and headshots signed by the anchors. 

From left: Teacher Nicole DelCorio and NBC10’s Erin Coleman and Keith Jones.

Third-grade investigative journalists 

Prior to their visit, DelCorio prepared her students by having them research the work of reporters and news anchors. The students then prepared questions to ask Coleman and Jones. 

“They had to research either Keith or Erin and find out when they started in the news business,” DelCorio. “My one student saw online one of Erin’s interviews when she was at college, and they called her ‘DJ E Little.’” 

Even her co-anchor had not known that nickname.  

“They really dug into their pasts,” DelCorio said. “I was so proud of them. It was a text-to-real-world world connection. One of my students said, ‘I am star-struck right now!’ And my girls did their hair; my boys had comb-overs. They were all excited.” 

The students pitched the idea of writing and performing a song for Coleman and Jones. They rewrote the lyrics to “We’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” with lyrics such as “Everyday with Keith and Erin, we learn something new!” In a later news broadcast, the anchors presented the song. 

A special visit for students and newscasters  

DelCorio noted that Coleman and Jones’ visit to the school was the first since COVID began. For many of her students, this was the first of any such visits they may have remembered from anyone outside the school. They were in first grade when the pandemic hit. 

The visit also turned out to be a particularly poignant one for Jones. When DelCorio shared with him photos from a 2013 visit from Cara McCollum, who was at the time Miss New Jersey, he was stunned. McCollum, who later died in car accident, had been his girlfriend.  

“Erin and I were shocked when we visited third graders in South Jersey in the same classroom in which my late girlfriend, Cara McCollum, years earlier read to students and promoted literacy,” Jones wrote in an Instagram post. “This was a trip I’ll never forget—for so many reasons.” 

Teacher Appreciation Week 

NBC10 broadcast footage from the visit on April 25, just prior to Teacher Appreciation Week. During Teacher Appreciation Week, a 30-second segment of the longer news story spotlighting the visit aired daily and was a featured Instagram reel.