Each semester, AmeriCorps’ Project MARS collects “Great Stories” from its members in which they reflect on their experiences mentoring in the classroom and the progress they see students making. This month’s story comes from Caroline Sprinkle.
When schools around the country started closing for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, I was upset that I probably would not see my third-grade students or my BBBS Little in person for a long time. Teachers and staff remedied this problem when they started conducting Zoom sessions to check on schoolwork and catch up with students. While Zoom and Skype calls may not seem as effective compared to in person interactions, they are still a fantastic way to stay connected with students in these unprecedented times.
My school distributed the computers that students typically use at school to any of the families who needed one for schoolwork. Once my Little had her computer, I began to have weekly Zoom sessions to catch up and hear about anything from her schoolwork to being cooped up with her frustrating little brother she loves so much to her birthday celebrated with a cake shaped like a turtle.
The Zoom sessions have been a fantastic way to remain connected with my Little. I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to stay in touch. We were even able to virtually visit museums and aquariums during our calls! I would project a video of seals at an aquarium or a walk around a museum so both of us could see and discuss what we thought was most interesting.
As different as meeting through the internet is from meeting in person, my Little and I were able to explore incredible new things. COVID-19 may have changed everyone’s plans, but I think it’s inspiring to see humans’ resiliency in the face of a pandemic and their commitment to stay connected, even in unfamiliar ways.