If there’s one word to describe COVID-19, it’s the word ‘unpredictable.’ This pandemic has tested each person’s ability to adapt to unprecedented situations. During quarantine, RHS students mourned the freedom they lost, with each person arguing why they had it the worst. However, many high schoolers never considered the impact COVID-19 would have on elementary school students.
Elementary school students have gone through social struggles and developmental setbacks as a result of learning virtually on a daily basis. It has become increasingly harder for teachers to educate their younger students how to master necessary social skills. When asked about what methods teachers use to meet with students’ social and emotional needs, Mrs. Stolarz from Ridge Elementary says that “teachers offer lunch bunches both before and after school to meet, lend an ear, and give advice.” Although this pandemic and quarantine has created a sense of isolation for everybody, these lunch bunches allow the students to feel a sense of love and belonging. Lunch bunches act like support systems, and the elementary schoolers need to know that they are supported during this incredibly difficult time. Also, because lunch bunches are not populated by large numbers of students like normal classes, the more timid students are able to eradicate their fears of clicking ‘unmute.’
Students at RHS have started to recognize this issue, as junior Zoe Kovac suggests that high schoolers should meet with these elementary school students during their lunch periods. “We could get on [Zoom meetings] and play games with them or just chit-chat to help them feel connected and give them something to look forward to.”
Graphic: Jacob Baskin