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COVID KIDS: Our kiddos need our help

Over the past four editions of The News, our writers have highlighted some of the many ways the coronavirus pandemic could hurt our kids’ future success.

From the months of school closures setting back academic progress to online learning failing to give some kids all they need to disrupted routines affecting emotional and social development to shuttered businesses affecting opportunities for our graduates, kids don’t need to be directly touched by the virus itself to feel its pain.

But, as our journalists showed over the four-day “COVID Kids” series, there are plenty of ways to combat those side effects:

∫ For our younger students, maintain as much of a normal routine as possible, and make learning part of that routine every day.

∫ For our older students, help them navigate the complex world of applying for financial aid and/or job seeking. If you are an employer, take a chance on a younger applicant to help him or her get that start on life the virus might deny.

∫ For all our students, we need to check in on their emotions regularly, let them know that it’s OK to not be OK, and offer a compassionate listening ear when they need to talk.

The “COVID Kids” series also illustrates the need for our continued support for our schools and other youth programs that are now stepping up to support our youth.

Volunteer. Donate. Support things like the Alpena County Youth and Recreation millage that give such programs a leg up.

We have at least still several months of this pandemic ahead of us, but the lingering side effects from the setbacks it caused could take years to overcome.

However, if we are aware of those potential pitfalls and work to overcome them, we can make sure our youth — our future — makes it through all right.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)

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