BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Clubs at Governor Livingston are trying to help make social distancing easier by engaging students and keeping their programs running. It is hard to hold meetings since most clubs meet during lunch at school, but Google Classroom updates and posts have been effective in reaching out to members. 

The Photo Club recently encouraged students to take a walk outside and submit photographs for a contest that showed the first signs of spring. Junior Emma Sylvester submitted the winning photo of a flower in her garden outside. Sylvester took advantage of nicer days and enjoyed finding new things to photograph. 

Photo club also plans to host an online scavenger hunt where students can participate by submitting pictures of the required items, most of which can be found in nature.

Sign Up for Mountainside Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Junior Jason Pien, head of the TSA Engineering Club, has been working hard to keep the club running despite the new online learning environment. Since they are unable to attend competitions, the Internet is a great resource, as there are lots of online builds and programs that Pien plans to get his club members to apply themselves. 

“Although it’s been difficult since most of our plans for the year take place in the spring, we are working hard to keep our club members involved,” Pien said. 

National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society have been brainstorming ways for students to fulfill their tutoring requirements despite not being in the classroom. Tutoring has proven to be a great help to students, and honor societies are trying to figure out the process that will help them get it running as quickly as possible. 

Daniel McGovern, who advises both clubs, has been working with the executive board of the honor societies to find a way to incorporate drop-in tutoring into online learning through a new Google Classroom setup. 

Of the necessity for clubs to continue in the remote learning atmosphere, McGovern, who also runs Junior State of America (JSA), said, “It's important for a sense of normalcy during this time and clubs provide a different type of outlet needed by students.” 

Even athletics have been inspiring their students to stay active and keep their hopes up for a season. Coaches have been updating athletes with workouts and inspiration. Track and Field coaches Beryl Roman and Lisa Dhaibar have also hosted fitness and workouts on Zoomso that students have the chance to interact with their teams. 

Head coach for Spring Track and Field Coach Daniel Guyton is disappointed with the turn of events of the season, but is staying positive and hopes athletes will do the same. He said, “Time is funny. While you’re in it and you’re going through it, things seem like they take forever,  but once you are through it, it seems like it all happened in a flash.” 

He suggests athletes be patient and continue to train, strengthen relationships with their families, and gain a greater perspective from the situation at hand. 

Although not being at school has its setbacks, clubs and activities at the school have remained active. Clubs have been great at keeping members involved and getting creative with how they will continue to do so. With hopes of giving the students something familiar that they can look forward to while still self-distancing, clubs provide a great opportunity for everyone to interact with one another.