Despite the struggles of remote learning, AT students and staff were able to hold and participate in the 8th grade activities fair this year with over 190 families attending.
With over 30 different clubs being represented, AT staff and students were able to hold the fair using zoom meetings, where they were able to showcase the many clubs and activities that Addison Trail has to offer. “This event is so important because it gives the 8th graders an idea of what they can join and be a part of when they matriculate into high school,” says senior Israar Ahmed who is the president of the AT debate team. “ Being a freshman is a time of many opportunities and this fair allows them to take advantage of those opportunities before entering high school,” continues Israar.
Although the future high schoolers were not allowed to come inside the school and have the traditional activities fair experience, they were still given the opportunity to engage with and interact with the clubs at AT. This year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the remote learning, each club was given a zoom room that the 8th graders and their parents were able to join which was in stark contrast to how it is usually held in person. Despite the difficulties of the situation, students were able to join rooms and talk to the club sponsors and a representative from the club giving them important information about the many clubs and activities that Addison Trail offers.
Although clubs were fortunate to be able to promote themselves through Zoom meetings many students missed the traditional activities fair. “We usually have both parents and students looking at our material and between 10 and 15 students actually signing up that they are interested. In-person it is much easier to talk to people and guide them to our booth for discussion. In the virtual format, we just waited until someone showed up in the waiting room but we had only one person along with his parents come to our room. Even though we did not talk to as many people, it was worth it.,” says business teacher and debate sponsor Michael Maaske. It’s clear that although staff and students felt fortunate to be able to promote their clubs they miss being able to talk about and explain their clubs in person.
All in all, AT clubs, are trying their hardest to promote and push students to get involved in clubs. “I think clubs are doing the best they can in this remote setting. It would be safe to say that each club may have taken a hit in attendance and amount of students who are members of their club. But they are still going strong and achieving the goals their clubs set out to reach. It is unfortunate we aren’t able to attract the freshmen the way we would hope to, but we are looking forward to however many freshmen we can attract next year,” concludes Israar.