One of the defining characteristics of high school is club activities. Whatever reason one may have to join a club – for their college application, a genuine interest in the subject, or to hang out with friends – clubs hold a certain value in all participants. From bake sales after school to competitions that may even take participants out of state, high school clubs are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
At New Providence High School, students may learn about the ranging variety of clubs offered here through the annual club fair, conducted near the beginning of the school year. Traditionally on the day of the club fair, leaders or volunteers from each club set up a tri-fold in the cafeteria to advertise their club. At an allotted time, each grade in the high school is called to participate in the club fair. During this time, the students can walk freely among the sea of tri-folds and ask questions of each club’s representatives.
However, we now have a new factor to consider: COVID-19. How do you conduct a club fair during a global pandemic? The answer: a virtual Club Fair. According to Angela Egnozzi, the organizer of NPHS club fairs, this year, the sea of tri-folds that has been the characteristic of past club fairs will be replaced with a Google Slide deck where each club has a slide with pictures and/or videos and/or information about their club and its goals. The slide deck is expected to be posted on the high school webpage and sent out in an email to Freshman students.
“Although the interactive part of the Club Fair is removed in the virtual environment, the goal of making the Freshman aware of the clubs available to them will still be accomplished,” Ms. Egnozzi said in an email communication.
Although it is unfortunate that a certain touch of humanity and spirit is lost that can only be provided through the student-to-student interaction of a traditional club fair, the ultimate goal of the club fair is still achieved, which is awareness of the opportunities available.
In fact, the virtual format has its own perks. Students being directly delivered the list of clubs rules out the chance that they do not find out about a club opportunity. Such misses are possible within the time constraints of a traditional club fair.
The effectiveness of this year’s club fair is especially important as club activities faltered during the lockdown in spring as fundraising came to a halt and typical year closing events could not be held. Despite this, the outlook for club activities this year remains positive.
“I think many clubs are trying to still meet . . . and still be an outlet for students’ personal interests,” Ms. Egnozzi said.
Despite all the setbacks that COVID has caused in our world in NPHS, clubs will still be serving their purpose for the students. One club that has already found a solution to satisfy COVID guidelines is the Model United Nations Club, which has changed into an online format in place of the traditional conference at Hershey Park.
“We will see some fiery online debates,” Edward Barnes, a teacher advisor for the Model United Nations Club, said.