Stanhope H.S.A Hosts Outdoor Movie Night Fundraiser

Stanhope H.S.A Hosts Outdoor Movie Night Fundraiser

While adults have bemoaned the negative social effects of COVID-19, like not being able to go to bars or sporting events, many of us have neglected to acknowledge that children have been robbed of their summer vacations too. June, July, and August are meant to be magical times in a child’s life, filled with pool parties, sleepovers, field trips, sports, camps, and everything else under the sun. This year, kids have been forced to stay inside and remain isolated, many of them getting their only socialization through video games and technology, or from one or two close friends/neighbors.

In an effort to rekindle community activities, The Home and School Association of Stanhope made use of Valley Road School’s grassy field – once a homefield for local soccer, baseball, and softball teams – in order to show the children’s film “Trolls World Tour”. All attendants have been instructed to wear masks, as was advertised for the event, and families were asked to remain socially distanced.

Melissa H., President of the H.S.A., organized the event with the help of her board and the many parents who volunteer with the organization. The general goal of Stanhope’s H.S.A is to raise money for the schools underfunded programs (art and music classes are most effected by budget cuts, but in recent years the robotics program and various field trips have also benefitted from the H.S.A.). For this event, however, Melissa emphasized that the focus is less on fundraising and more on “community” and “togetherness”. This outdoor movie screening is a creative way for children and families to enjoy themselves, have some company, and perhaps feel a little more normal in these times.

The children will be returning to school in the fall, utilizing a schedule in which Group A (fifty percent of each respective class in the K-8 school) will enter the building every Monday and Tuesday and will attend classes via live video-stream Thursday and Friday. Group B will have the opposite schedule. The two groups will alternate who enters the building on Wednesdays. “This way everybody is on the same page,” according to Melissa. These measures would cut classroom sizes to ten or less, and keep about 160 kids in the fairly large building per day. When asked whether or not she believed this would be safe, Melissa swore complete confidence in the school’s current administration. “They put more time and effort into this than anybody else possibly could.” … “I’m confident sending my child [to school]”.

While this is the first event since COVID, Melissa and the rest of the H.S.A have plans for the future, including a Halloween movie night, a pumpkin carving party, flower sales, trunk-or-treating if trick-or-treating is not a viable option in October, and many other events.

The Stanhope H.S.A. and this event’s participants have shown they are capable of safely conducting events (with COVID safety measures) that will benefit the children as well as their families. While the rest of the world seems to be on hold, our small local communities are still making a difference.

For the full interview with Melissa, click here.

Author: D.C. Gonk

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