ROXBURY, NJ – Hoping to “spread positivity” during a time of coronavirus-induced despair, the Roxbury High School Interact Club recently compiled video clips of uplifting messages submitted by students and some teachers.

Members of the club - Roxbury Rotary’s arm in the high school - wanted to do something to make people feel better, said club president Camille Guglielmo. As have most organizations, the club has been meeting remotely.

The club put out a call for submittions, giving students and others a week to shoot videos of themselves offering positive messages. About 50 people responded, said Guglielmo.

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Interact Club Member Ashley Miller compiled the clips into a 3-minute-long video, a job that took about a week, said Guglielmo, an 18-year-old senior.

Not The Senior Year They Anticipated

“We were kind of tossing around ideas of something we could do,” she said. “We went back and forth with a lot of different things. Someone suggested a video … Our main goal was to spread positivity because, obviously, there’s a lot of sadness right now.”

The shut-down of Roxbury schools in mid-March, and the restrictions on getting together for extra-curricular activities, is taking its toll on many students, particularly her peers in the Class of 2020 Guglielmo said

“I’m noticing a lot of sadness among the seniors,” she said. “It’s a really hard way to end senior year. You go to school with kids for 12 years … I think the hardest thing is we won’t get to have a proper goodby.”

Guglielmo said she and her friends had no idea, two months ago, that their senior year plans and expectations, including prom and an in-person graduation would be dashed. “When we left school in March, we thought we were going to be out maybe two weeks,” she said. “I thought I’d be walking back in that school.”

Making The Best Of It

Guglielmo said she adapted well to the online instruction system instituted in the district. However, she said “some people are having a very hard time adjusting to the online schooling because it’s very different.”

But, as shown by the Interact Club’s video, Roxbury students are trying to make the best of the situation, according to Guglielmo. She said they are constantly conversing on social media, doing “drive-by” birthday celebrations, baking cookies and delivering them to each other.

“We are actually coming up with a lot of ideas of things we can do from home and stuff,” Guglielmo said. “That’s actually exciting. We are going to finish off the year doing some good things.”