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Moving forward during COVID

Engaging Students from a Distance

Capital High School CIS Site Coordinators, Heather Sellers, Adrian Sotelo and Sinte Torrez have been busy creating virtual interactive groups to stay in touch with students. Every day they find ways to bring interesting topics and supports to young adults at their high school.

Heather has run a program for freshman girls with Girls Inc. for several years and is hosting it virtually this year. Every week the girls sign on, play interactive games that relate to current events happening in the world, and talk. The intention is to create a space where these young women can share and process what is most on their minds. The girls look forward to this weekly get together - and that is evident by the growing number of girls that log in every week!

Each Wednesday Sinte leads a group of young men in conversation with a guest who serves as an inspiring and positive role model. “We meet electricians, and doctors, musicians and business men," comments Sinte, "As we move along with this program, the boys are more and more engaged each time." Heather’s Girls’ Empowerment Group is looking forward to welcoming guest speakers as well, and she notes that “I am so excited for everyone to see where these women work - and I know the girls will be inspired by their stories, too." The CIS virtual tutoring program at Capital, comprised of volunteer and peer tutors, is also available EVERY DAY for students from 4-5:30; and on Wednesdays tutors are available all day. Students have lots of opportunities to access one-on-one academic support - all they have to do is log-on and ask.

"As much as we have helped students get hot spots and other devices so they can connect to school, my team of site coordinators also wanted to motivate students to engage in their academics," comments Site Coordinator, Adrian Sotelo, "CIS connected with local businesses to help sponsor gift cards that will recognize students that are really working hard in school. Teachers and faculty have already nominated a lot of students - the first round of winners will be announced on November 3rd."

"We are finding creative ways to make the most of our distance learning", comments Heather, "just yesterday I hosted an informal Google Hangout study group - something I haven't considered doing until now. The next think I knew, I was studying chemistry with a bunch of kids. While we are apart, and distanced - we sure felt together and engaged!"

Our team is working beyond school walls doing whatever it takes to help students succeed!

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