Creating Community Despite Isolation: May’s Granite Staters of the Month
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Kearsarge Regional High School’s student group, Students Working on Community Outreach (SWOCO), was on my radar.
Throughout the year, this group of exceptional students has been working hard to make a difference in their community by organizing a variety of projects — hosting a conference for neighboring school districts on how students could become stronger leaders in their communities and partnering with the National Honor Society to organize blanket drives and food drives for Liberty House, a veterans homeless shelter.
However, when the pandemic shut down traditional school functions, the students in SWOCO were not deterred in their mission to foster community. So instead of in-person meetings, they moved their efforts online — just like the rest of their school experience this year.
During a time when so many school functions have been canceled, these students organized two talent shows — one for students and one for teachers — that were livestreamed through Zoom. These events helped maintain a sense of community for students and teachers who missed out on so many of the important social aspects of school since its physical closure in March.
The student group has also created a “Little Free Pantry” in Kearsarge, part of a larger grassroots movement designed to help provide food and other essential items to disadvantaged members of the community.
It is a testament to this group of students that, in a time of hardship and immense change, they continued to work on behalf of their neighbors. Their dedication and compassion is a shining example of what Granite Staters are capable of. Because of this, I am excited to name them as May’s Granite Staters of the Month.