Today, there are 5.88 million cases of Coronavirus in the US. In North Carolina however, there are 162,000 cases statewide with 3,790 cases in Johnston County alone. These numbers have caused most schools to go virtual for at least the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Being virtual can take away many opportunities for high school students, one being any extracurricular activities. At Cleveland High School, sports have been put on hold along with the majority of clubs.
Some club leaders and participants are trying to continue clubs virtually. Student Council leader, Melissa Pearce says, “Clubs are an important part of the whole high school experience. They allow students to engage in meaningful ways with their peers and teachers and within their school and community. Our world is so different from anything any of us has previously experienced. So many options and opportunities have been closed to us and our students. I wanted to try to continue running a club, even though I know it looks incredibly different that it has in the past, to continue offering a meaningful experience to our students as much as possible. For student council, we’ve had to trim off a lot of what we are able to do. We’ve had to re-envision what we can safely do and accomplish this year. We revisited the preamble to our constitution to get back to the core of who we are and what we’re about. In doing so, we narrowed it down to what we see are some of our most important elements: school spirit and engagement and community service. With that in mind, we set three goals for the first semester: Senior Celebrations, Fall spirit week, Community Service Project. We’ve already had a free snow cone day for seniors as well as given them light blue keychain tassels with 2021 on them. We have planned a fall spirit week with a theme, dress up days, and some free events that can be done online such as a trivia night, pandemlympics, and a virtual selfie race. We are also working through our community service ideas and are meeting to discuss that in detail next Tuesday. It’s not the same as what we’ve done in the past, but it captures the essence of who we are as a club.”
Though it may be difficult, clubs are trying to make the most out of the situation. Vice President of the Student Council, Marissa Colbert says, “I feel like Covid is making Student Council hard for us because it was always easier to get information out into the student body better through flyers and intercoms, but we’re adapting.”
School clubs are very important to students and teachers, so pushing to keep them going can be a positive thing for students. Despite the importance of any extracurricular activities, experts say, “Students should prioritize their mental health, personal health, and well-being.’’