A Peek Inside Our Virtual 2021 WINGS
By Kellie Hunter
Program Administrative Assistant Bethune Elementary – Atlanta, GA
Virtual programming is very different from in-person programming, but we made it work because we offered a variety of programs and made participation flexible. We were able to reach out in new ways that we wouldn’t even have considered previously because we were accustomed to face-to-face interactions.
- Classroom teachers who used our brain breaks (mental breaks designed to help students stay focused and give teachers a break from Zoom) and class parties could actually see first-hand how WINGS Leaders interact with students and how our lessons are applied in real-time. Teachers who knew nothing about WINGS or who hadn’t interacted with staff were able to meet and form relationships with us. Kids who never participated in WINGS prior were able to experience and benefit from WINGS programming.
- Our families learned that we really mean it when we say we care and we’re in this thing together. We adjusted schedules, checked in, and searched out ways to connect them with the resources they needed. It was because of this that we had an increase in participation in our events. The virtual option also helped parents, who in the past, couldn’t make it to school for an event because of work. We were able to meet so many more parents and students this year by working virtually.
For me, having the opportunity to work one-on-one with students has been the best part of virtual programming.
- Students know that it’s just the two of us in attendance, so they understand that the expectation is not only to show up but be engaged! Having one-on-one time with students allowed me to focus in on each child’s academic needs and provided an opportunity to assess their mood each day and adapt our sessions so they were more effective and productive. It was amazing to watch each child who was quiet and unfocused at the beginning of the year become actively engaged and participating by the end of the year.