Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Even while staying quarantined inside your home during COVID-19, you can still make a difference in your communities! Initially, the goal of Choose To Be You was to start springtime after-school clubs at local middle schools, but as a result of the global pandemic, schools were shut down nation wide and are not returning for the rest of the year. Of course this was disappointing, but it made me think even more about what I could do to support my community during this time and allow students to make an impact as well. After participating in multiple Zoom lessons for high school, what came to my mind was the thought of a virtual club! I thought of how this could work with middle school students, and how young students could have the opportunity to share ideas of how they can could make a change in their communities during this time. After contacting a local middle school, I sent out an invite to the virtual club, and next thing I knew was 25 students ready to join!
The club was run through Google Classroom, and was called Choose To Make Waves, since this middle school's mascot was a wave. Twenty-five sixth through eighth graders joined and participated in the club, which started in April and ended in June. Students would share their ideas with each other through weekly virtual meetings and classroom conversations. It was such a success and it was amazing hearing all of the incredible ideas from these young teens of how they were planning to make a positive impact in their local neighborhoods, especially during the time of the coronavirus.
Each week, there was a new activity for students to take part in, which they would come up with during our weekly meetings. Below are pictures of what students did and descriptions of weekly activities.
Here are over 60 cards made by students in Choose To Make Waves. These cards were made and collected from students to shine some positivity at local nursing homes. With the help from teachers at LaSalle Academy, we were able to deliver these cards to nursing homes across Rhode Island.
Above are pictures of a student who volunteered to decorate their school with American flags for Memorial Day. Not only were flags decorated here, but over 400 flags were sent to other students of the club, who decorated their neighborhoods and communities with them to honor the lives of those who died serving our country.
Students also participated in other activities, such as decorating their neighborhood streets with rock/shell art, or drawing positive/thank you notes on their driveways with sidewalk chalk to spread some sunshine!
All these students needed for the club was creative mind, and with that, they were able to discover a voice in which they used to share the voices with others. They also learned the value of listening to what others had to say and respecting their thoughts, which is a great life-skill. It is important to teach children when they are young to speak up about something they are passionate about, without hesitating to worry about what others may think about them. This positive environment allows young teens to discover a voice they can use to change the world, even with small steps at a time.
If you have any questions about the club, or are interested in getting your school involved, feel free to head over to my contact page, or connect with me through my email firstname.lastname@example.org or through Instagram @choose.to.be.you!
Choose To Be You Club
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