The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted so much for so many people, both in New York and around the world. Whether it means not being able to go to school or losing a job or getting sick, the pandemic has impacted us all in one way or another. What you are going through is unique and uncomfortable – please take time to remind yourselves that you are resilient for waking up each morning and getting through each day. This is not easy, and it might not be easy for some time. Please carve out the space you need, talk to those you trust, and be easy with yourself as we continue to navigate these uncertain times. We will get through this.

Throughout Virtual Poly, we would like to provide students with the opportunity to serve the Poly community and beyond. We have come up with various ways that each Poly student can engage their community – be it within Poly Prep or within the Greater Brooklyn area.

Through Advisories, each student will choose one of the following service/engagement ideas to complete. Each Advisory will have a Shared Google Drive where advisees upload the work they have done (outlined below), in order to hold students accountable to our mission of service and engagement at Poly Prep. All service is required by May 15th.

These options provide students with the opportunity to get creative and lean into their social-emotional processes. Writing cards and letters has therapeutic benefits that our students could profit from during a time like this. Better yet, those on the receiving end will be delighted to receive support from a stranger or a loved one (depending on the option). In addition, we have provided an option to engage meaningfully with a peer in conversation. Students engaging in critical dialogue about their experiences is vital to their social-emotional health as they navigate social distancing.

Option #1

- Sending letters to nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, and first responders in Brooklyn

Students will have the choice to write letters and send them to healthcare workers at local hospitals (Maimonides, New York Community, University Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital Center) in hopes of spreading appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifice made by those on the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Option #2

- Cards for isolated elders

Students may make cards for family members or isolated elders at local nursing homes and assisted living centers in the area. In a time or social distancing, many isolated individuals are increasingly separated from friends and family. Students send their cards to the organization Love for the Elderly.

Option #3

- Peer-to-Peer conversations

Students can choose to engage with fellow Poly peers via video to discuss how they are dealing with life in the age of COVID-19. Conversation-as-Service is an important model for children to explore, as it opens them up to share their experiences and give space to hear others out. Students will follow a script and be assigned to mixed-grade groups.