OST is Essential on All Platforms
Families and students have been showing up in a big way to our virtual programs.

In times of change it's essential to think and act creatively, adaptively and resiliently. Sunrise has done that this summer by preparing a virtual camp that guaranteed the safety of our staff and students. With school district's buildings closed for the summer, there was no safe alternative, and our families responded: all of Sunrise's camps, serving youth Kindergarten - 12th grade, are full and participation has been strong. Virtual OST is a critical support for families this summer.  Let's ask the kids what they think! 

We have had powerful sessions this past week with our middle school and high school students.

For our Orientation week, our themes centered around getting to know our students, working with them on their mental health, life skills, self-care, social justice, entrepreneurship and other topics. Students and staff showed up in a big way last week. 

In our social justice session students spoke passionately about their experiences and called for change. The hour session led by Sunrise Site Director Lavon Howard, featured guest speakers Marcia Hopkins from the Juvenile Law Center and Author and Poet Queen Phierce, also known as Ceshia Holland leader of a #SayHERnamePhilly march in June 2020. 

Attendance for virtual sessions have been more then we could have imagined and participation even more so. In our mental health session, students spoke on how they've been dealing with isolation, and loneliness during COVID 19 and the transition to virtual life. They spoke on how they've been feeling and processing the reality of everything happening in the world. We had a session discussing the district's plan to re-open in fall and students gave very real and honest feedback, expressing their concerns on safety and isolation. Students have been encouraged to check in on each other, and we've begun to build a virtual safe space and community. What we've seen this week is that the relationships we've built with our students and families extend into a virtual setting. What we've seen is that we can still reach them and provide meaningful programming virtually. 
It's been amazing to see students participating in so many of our programs, and participating with so much excitement and energy. Our elementary program has been working with students on a variety of topics including Fitness, STEM, Arts, Cooking, Literacy, and more. Pictured you'll see photos from a fitness class run virtually with students. 
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