Malden High usually offers a variety of clubs, but due to the circumstances this year, there are only a handful of them that are moving to an online format. The pandemic has not stopped some students from trying to start new clubs either. While many still want to continue meeting, “some would be difficult to” continue, history teacher, Kerry Veritas, said. Certain clubs that are national organizations such as the Key Club and NHS will continue to meet, no matter what.
Veritas is the advisor to the Feminism Club, which is held every Thursday as it was “something [the members] wanted to do.” So far it has been a success for her and the students a part of it. Veritas expressed that she still has many of the main members, but looks forward to “recruiting more members.” She continues to have an online platform for the kids who still want to be involved.
Librarian, Mary Liberge, used to advise the Art Club. This is one of the many examples of clubs that are hard to format online because “every student would need their own supplies and that proposes a barrier.” Until this club is able to meet in person, it is going to hold off on running for now. ''There are a lot less clubs running this time” due to remote learning, said Veritas.
Due to the difficulties in organizing clubs this year, Veritas began working with Erin Craven, who had some good ideas about how to launch “clubs for this particular year, especially for freshmen who are new and want to get involved from home.” In prior years, freshmen would learn about clubs and extracurriculars they could join at the Activities Fair, but unfortunately that was not held this year.
Veritas believes her kids are as interested and engaged with the Feminism Club online, just as much as they were in person. In ways it makes “it easier because you are able to be in your house at the same time.” There is more “flexibility” for her students and it is also not mandatory. For her club, being online has not stopped or “limited conversation so far.” However, Google Meets and the internet can always be an issue. Google Meets have “their own sort of vibe to it.” Most of the time it goes smoothly but there is “a little difficulty.”
Her and other teachers still prefer to be in person, but they understand why that is not an option at the moment. The good thing about online clubs is they are voluntary, so only people who want to be a part of the conversation attend, and not because they are forced to participate.
There are about fourteen clubs that are still going to try and continue meeting in “an online environment.” Veritas and Craven are arranging a Google Slides presentation to showcase continuing clubs. This will allow students to view the “joining information, pictures and possible videos.” James Valente, media teacher, was also involved in the plan to “create a video overview” of what is available to students and what is provided to them. The next step in their plan is to distribute this information to all of the grades, specifically freshman.
This would be a great way to get more club members and it allows the students to still be involved in something they love, even from home. Their life does not have to completely go on hold. Clubs are also a great way for students to interact with their friends “outside” of class.