the impact of covid-19 by the cairo-durham middle school after school social studies literacy program

A group of middle school students in the afterschool Social Studies Literacy program completed a project this spring about student and staff experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

counselor interviewed by middle school student

Under the guidance of Social Studies teacher Ms. Young and English teacher Mrs. Masztal, the students developed questions to ask people regarding their COVID experiences and learned how to conduct interviews. A handful of students and staff were interviewed in person and an online survey was sent to more students, staff, and the Board of Education.

“The culminating project will serve as part of the historical record of our community’s experience with COVID,” said Ms. Young. “In interviewing people, students engaged in documenting history and creating primary sources from which future generations can learn.”

Click here to download the project and see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of some Cairo-Durham staff and middle school students.

bar graph showing that most participants were 11-20 years old or 51-60 years old

Ms. Young explained that the COVID-19 pandemic, which is just one of many illnesses throughout history to plague the world, offered a unique instructional opportunity. It allowed students to discuss change and continuity, as well as historical significance and the impact of migrations and technology on societies. Furthermore, students had the chance to refine their speaking, listening, and writing skills throughout the course of the project and engage in mathematical processes as they analyzed data.

“This project is truly authentic learning,” said Ms. Young.

The afterschool Social Studies Literacy program was introduced in 2021 and designed to help students in Grades 6-8 build their skills in reading, writing, and analyzing sources. Middle school students can sign up to participate or join at the recommendation of a teacher. A similar Social Studies enrichment program also took place during the summer.