Education Matters: Extra-curricular activities continue during a pandemic

Education

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Extra-curricular activities are often what makes school interesting for kids, but distance learning is making it harder for young people to get together outside their on-line classrooms.

Despite coronavirus difficulties, schools are still finding ways to keep students engaged.

Members of Fresno State’s pre-veterinary club are out early in the mornings to collect donations for animals impacted by the recent wildfires.

“It’s a great way to connect with the community, give back to the community,” said Fresno State student Katelyn Marin.

Katelyn Marin welcomed this opportunity to get out and do something good and mingle with other students in the club.

“Unfortunately with COVID and everything going on we haven’t been able to do a lot of the events we’ve been wanting to do so this just felt like a great idea, a great way to give back and kind of get out there.”

Getting out there is something a lot of young people have not been able to do. With most schools closed and students participating in distance learning at home, it’s been hard for them to come together for extracurricular activities.

But schools are finding ways for students to stay engaged.

“Right now we are meeting through zoom here at Central High School,” said Melissa Ybarra of the Advisor Interact Club.

Interact is a service club active at both Central High and Central High East high schools.

“We collected just some food items, personal items, some kits for small children.”

Ybarra says schools have found creative ways to keep kids involved – such as holding virtual club recruitment fairs. It’s a way to let students know that they can continue to participate in extracurricular activities – despite COVID.

“I think it’s great for the kids, even though it is through Zoom it’s obviously, it’s a little different for everybody but at least we get to see each other.”

Educators know just how important it is for students to feel connected with others right now and how important it is for them to be involved with something outside the classroom, even if it’s on-line.

“At least they get to see and talk and everybody gets a chance to connect and kind of get to see what’s going on and we’ve come up with some different ideas that we can do to reach out to our community and get the kids and involved so they don’t feel so isolated at home by themselves.”

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