For the current eighth-grade class at New Paltz Middle School, the last “normal” year of school was fifth grade. Every stage of their middle school experience has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
These students have been asked to fulfill all the typical academic requirements of sixth, seventh and eighth grade while being denied most of the social-emotional opportunities and rites-of-passage — sports, social events, field trips, co-recs, performances and clubs — that are so important to growth, development and overall mental health at this age.
Although many activities are slowly returning, this will never make up for the memories, opportunities, and middle school traditions the class has missed. Before these kids become high schoolers, the middle school PTA is coordinating a memorable social event for them — the Eighth Grade Spring Fling on Friday, May 13 at Novella’s in New Paltz. It will hopefully give students a chance to be together with their friends at this transitional time, celebrate their unique middle school experience and strengthen their bond as a class.
Organizers are asking community businesses and professionals to join us in this endeavor by donating items to be included in “goodie bags” that will be given out to all students who attend the Spring Fling, approximately 120 to 150 kids. Examples of items might be: a voucher for one thing from your store or restaurant, a coupon for a purchase discount, stickers, pens/pencils or something small and special from your business.
For additional information, contact the New Paltz Middle School PTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 419-8070.