Students handling the Pandemic - The 74 www.the74million.org
Hello Families: Here are stories of students and what this crisis is meaning or doing to them. Please read and have those difficult and critical conversations with your scholars. Remember they are not adults and they are not handling this crisis as AN ADULT. They are children and need their parent(s)/guardian(s) to help them navigate and understand what is going on.
They may be concerned for your health and not able to share, they may be concerned that you are not working and not know how to share. If you are struggling to keep food on the table, gas in your car, cloths on your back – help them to understand at their level and not AN ADULT level. Lots of hugs and conversations are critical during this time.
TWO WEEKS, FIVE SIBLINGS & ONE WORKING LAPTOP: On March 20, Brandon Yam woke up and dialed the tech department of the nation’s largest school system. For two weeks, he writes in the latest in the 74’s “Pandemic Notebook” series, he fruitlessly pursued the district to learn the status of his application for one of 300,000 devices available for students who lack them. Yam is a junior at highly selective Francis Lewis High School. But he also comes from a poor immigrant family in the city’s Flushing neighborhood, where his parents, a chef and a postal employee, are essential workers and he shares the family’s 10-year-old laptop with five siblings. He writes: “My siblings and I butted heads to get to the router at the center of our living room for a bar of internet connection. … I often pinched the corners of my iPhone 6 screen wide, squinting to see my trigonometry and physics teachers doing practice problems on paper.” Along the way, he learned some sobering lessons about privilege and navigating the digital divide. Now, he writes, “I sit here wondering how many other children have had to act on their own with parents at work — playing the roles of traffic cop, translator and support system.”
Other student voices from our “Pandemic Notebook” series:
- Connecting in ‘Ways That Are Terrifying and Beautiful’: Finding Meaning During the Pandemic Through Friendly Texts, Viral Memes and Joe Exotic
- Caged In and Zoomed Out: I’m Dreaming of Getting Dirt Under My Fingernails and Learning Again in a Non-Virtual World
- We May Joke About ‘the Rona’ and Virtual Graduation: But Deep Down, We’re Scared. Here’s How I Learned to Manage Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19
- Barking Dogs, Breathing Exercises and Eckhart Tolle: Diary of My First Day of ‘Social-Distance’ Learning at Sunny Hills High
- Part Staycation, Part Home Detention: My Life During Pandemic Is a Study in Contrasts