New Jersey children are finding some “silver linings” to the social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Share Your Silver Linings campaign invited kindergarten through 8th grade students to share a story about a new healthy and positive family ritual, habit, activity or a healthy tip they have discovered while social distancing.

Some examples of the silver linings stories included the following:

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  • “Even though quarantine may seem like nothing could get better, I’ve started to realize all the laughs I’ve been getting with my family.  At the dinner table we are always laughing and just having fun. And I know for a FACT being quarantined can’t take away laughter.”

Lucy S., 4th Grade, Bogert Elementary School, Upper Saddle River

  • “My Silver Lining Story is that we started being kind to people without anyone telling us to do it. Me and my three sisters do something nice for people every week. Today, we are going to deliver coffee and donuts to the police officers to say thank you for keeping us safe.”

Ella N., 1st Grade, Whiting Elementary School, Ocean

  • I learned so many new things about my brother. We have so much more in common than we ever imagined. Without social distancing, my brother and I would not be this close.

Meghan P., 5th Grade, Point Pleasant

  • Even though I am a little embarrassed to admit this, I was never a person who enjoyed going outside or exercising. I always stayed inside and kept to myself most of the time. I have 6 people in my family, so it always is very hectic. To get away from the chaos I started to go outside and walk a little around the block. I cannot believe how much I was missing out on. Thanks to social distancing, I learned my love for nature and biking. I love the quiet sound of birds chirping and the wind against my face as I bike around my neighborhood. If it hadn't been for social distancing, I may have never found out my love for nature.”
    Naiya, 7th Grade, Secaucus Middle School, Secaucus

 “We hope that this campaign spreads a little joy by showcasing these uplifting experiences that children across the state have experienced during this time while social distancing at home,” explained Angelo Valente, PDFNJ’s Executive Director.  “The campaign allowed these children to share their experiences with their classmates, peers and perhaps help them see the silver linings that have been created during this difficult time.”

The campaign aimed at sharing positive stories or “silver linings”, accepted entries of 150 words or fewer from April 22 through May 22.  All of the entries will be published online, as well as shared on social media, as a way to encourage school children to look for silver linings as well. These stories can be found at http://drugfreenj.org/stories/. Each entry received was entered into a random drawing for a chance to one of five $100 Amazon gift cards.