Glencliff High School students publish book about their pandemic experiences
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) – Like all lifestyles impacted by the pandemic, the way students have learned has changed dramatically over the past year, with some students still learning from a distance.
Students at Glencliff High School worked on a special project to commemorate the year and how it changed them.
Harold Burdette works with GEAR UP in Metropolitan Public Schools, a program that aims to prepare children for college. He says that at the start of the pandemic, students – especially freshmen – were denied the opportunity to build community at their new school.
“How do you build community in one place, if you can’t be in that place with other people?” Said Burdette.
So he and his colleagues at Glencliff decided to have their students work on submissions to a compilation of stories, artwork and poems, describing how the pandemic impacted their lives and how they are learning.
The resulting work, “The Glencliff High School Quarantine Diaries,” was handed out to students on Tuesday.
“It was the year that everything was going to be perfect, we didn’t know that 2020 was not our year,” wrote Yasmin Castillo, 15.
“It’s been so cold here lately, a 14 month winter,” wrote Shelby Lewis, 15.
But through the challenges of the pandemic, students say they have learned a lot about themselves.
“I’ve learned that I can do a lot more than I thought I could, which is good,” said Lewis.
“It’s my first time in a book so I’m proud of myself,” said Brandon Navarro, 14.
And students say the project brought them together in the community they thought they were missing.
“We get to connect with these pieces,” Castillo said.
“I finally got to see at least how I wasn’t going through on my own,” said Karen Lopez Hernandez, 15.
These are lessons that GEAR UP says will be of use to these students now that they are back in class. But they hope the lessons will be even more useful to them once they graduate and quit schools again – this time for good.