The pandemic caused by COVID-19 drastically changed the climate for extracurricular activities. While some thrived under these stressful conditions, others struggled to stay open. Many after-school programs that shifted to a web-based format miss in-class teaching, particularly physical classes such as music, sports, dance and martial arts. Education courses, mostly, had an easier transition. For instance, Quills and Quotes, a children’s writing and public speaking program, immediately converted to online classes; for they understood the importance of educational continuity.
Quills and Quotes director, Shauna Jain, shares information about the online transition. “For us, the change was not difficult, for we designed the curriculum to be technology compatible. All of our lectures were on interactive slides that teachers can easily use on video conferencing. Plus, the students were already turning in assignments on Google Classroom, so that format continued. We find Google Classroom invaluable for sharing handouts, video links and sample essays; even better, the students can ask questions on the stream to the teacher and other students. We changed the public speaking goals to reflect the platform. Now, teachers coach students on presentation proficiency for video conferencing instead of a podium – an essential skill for their generation.”