File photo contributed.

Chea Waters Evans

The Junior Reporters Club has been meeting enthusiastically and digitally since school became a home-based activity. Along with Jack Fairweather, a board member and journalist, I have been meeting with them online twice a week or so to go over story ideas and change the background on our Zoom meeting settings with dizzying frequency.

Though it seems like there might not be a lot of news for young people, many of whom are slowing down from multiple sports, music lessons, dance rehearsals and a long day of school, they are finding it: in their backyards, from their grandparents, and in the altered and uncertain state of their own daily lives.

These stories are from our junior reporters. If you have a child who is interested in participating or just hanging out on Zoom and seeing what a kid-based editorial meeting is like (not that different from an adult one!), please let me know.

Staying at home helps us connect with family

Eloise Glasscoe

We’re just not used to being apart from close friends for so long! It’s normally part of our everyday lives. Despite the fact that we’re being kept from our friends, this long break from personal contact gives us more of a chance to connect with family. I, being 10 years old, know exactly what this means. I spend so much time with my friends, that I haven’t connected with family as much. Over the break I’ve gone on multiple hikes and bike rides with my parents and siblings. And not only the people you’re quarantined with, also distant family like grandparents. My family has been doing calls with our aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. We catch up on how we’re doing and talk about recommended movies, books, etc. And it’s really great. Being stuck at home has an advantage; you just have to find it.

Here’s what my grandmother and aunt think about the topic: interview with Cathy Steagall and Kristen Steagall of Chicago.“Hi guys. Would you mind doing an interview for my town newspaper?” asks Eloise Glasscoe, junior reporter for The Charlotte News.

“I’d love to! Ask away!” replies Eloise’s grandma, Gigi.

“Sounds great!” says Aunt Kristen.

“Great! First question: Does the quarantine affect your daily schedule?”

“Yes. Since I can no longer do public/outside activities, I have to find ways to replace them in our home,” informs Gigi.

“Yes! Normally I wake up on Monday, fly to my client and sleep in a hotel all week. I eat at restaurants and stay up late. Now that I’m not traveling, I can stay at home in my own bed and cook my own meals. It’s relaxing,” said Aunt Kristen.

“Great answers! Next: How are you making sure you stay healthy?”

“I’ve started doing a livestream yoga class from my favorite studio in Ann Arbor, Mich. A benefit of the quarantine is that they’re streaming now so I can take their classes,” replies Aunt Kristen.

“Well, I go to the grocery store early, to beat the crowds. When I get home I wipe my groceries down to be safe. I take walks outside by myself to get fresh air,” says Gigi.

“Perfect. Do you feel worried about being at home so long?”

“No, going out worries me. I feel safe at home,” Gigi continues.

“Same.”

“Yeah, me too. Last question: Has anything good come out of the quarantine?”

“Because we have slowed down our lives, I notice that I am connecting more with friends I haven’t heard from in a while. I’m enjoying nature more and noticing signs of spring. Makes you appreciate small things. And most important: family.”

“Great! That’s actually what I’m writing my article about!”

“I’m going down to Wal-Mart and getting one of their Go Karts reserved for seniors. I had fun racing the old geezer there,” adds Eloise’s Grandpa, Papadooka.

“Amazing! Thanks guys!”

What are kids up to during the pandemic?

Amelie Fairweather

An interview with Ava Berquist

What are you doing to keep in touch with relatives?
Well, we haven’t really visited them, but my grandparents are probably coming up, and we’re calling and Facetiming.

What is your honest opinion on the coronavirus?
I’m not really that scared because I’m not really in touch with anyone, and my parents are doing all the work to keep us safe. Plus, I’m washing hands and social distancing.

What do you think people should be doing right now?
Well, people should stay safe and if you come in touch with anyone bring wipes or cloths and if you are sick just cover your mouth.

What is school like for you now?
Well, I do like thirty minutes of math, really like four blocks of curriculum, I listen to audiobooks and do my math binder, I also read a lot, and have 30 minutes of outside time, and if you need a break, I just have like an art break.

An interview with Trevina Valliere

What are you doing to keep in touch with relatives?
I’ve been starting Facetiming my grandma and I’ve been texting my cousins.

What is your honest opinion on the coronavirus?
Well, I think that it’s like really scary because it’s probably something that everyone’s going to get and I think that’s it just scary that you could get it.

What do you think people should be doing right now?
I think that they should be working on the work that their teachers gave them, reading, art, outside, special time with family—that’s always important–and cooking, building.

What is school like for you now?
I’m reading, I am doing my spelling packet, I’ve been doing Lexia powerup math packet, going outside, doing good deeds. I really miss my friends and it’s super weird to think that we won’t be having school for the rest of the year.

Families during the Great Pandemic

Reed Herlihy

I interviewed some families and learned the many different experiences during the great pandemic.

One idea is an online coffee hour, which came from Michele Herlihy. Her big family usually meets on Sunday mornings with their 100-year-old grandmother June Sullivan. Now they meet online and even more people can join. It’s very lonely for June. She’s not able to read anymore or hear the TV. But family members who live with her can talk to her six feet away. She can sit outside by herself. It reminds her of when she was a young child and they had the TB (another lung disease) epidemic which she got, and her mother died of.

Not all families are separated. For example, the Burkes and their grandparents live in the same house. They also do a cooking competition every week. Most people don’t like the great pandemic. But most people do like the family time.

For grandparents Roz and Dick Curran, life is quieter, although they live with their granddaughters Sinclair and Cecilia, so they can now see their schoolwork. Which they like. Wells and Chapin Grubbs live just down a trail from their cousins. They find it weird to not see them all the time. But they are happy to spend quality time with each other and their mom and dad.

An interview with Grandma Kathy, who can eat a lot of chocolate chips

Ava Ringler

Some people might be wondering what grandparents are up to these days. Well, I am going to be sharing a conversation I had with my Grandma Kathy, Kathy Perzanowski from Rutland, Vt.

Ava: Thinking on the positive side, have you learned anything new during this pandemic?
Grandma Kathy: I have learned that there are so many things to do while you are stuck at home. However, most importantly I am reminded that the most important things are health and family. I have also learned that I am capable of eating an entire bag of chocolate chips in two days.

Ava: What are you doing as a hobby?
Grandma Kathy: I have actually been doing a lot of hobbies. Practicing my ukulele, doing a lot of watercolor paintings, hiking, yoga and walking my dog Zoey.

Ava: Have you been doing anything to help others during this time?
Grandma Kathy: I am practicing social distancing, washing my hands a lot and keeping contact with my friends on Zoom or video chat.

My conversation with my grandma made me realize that she has a lot of free time to do many things that she loves. An important reminder that during these hard times, it is important to do what you love and keep in touch with your friends and family.