When COVID-19 hit and schools started to close, we immediately jumped into action, starting with raising funds to provide the communities we serve with (over 35,000!) meals and (700) computers in order to help meet some of our students’ most immediate needs.
We then began holding virtual JKL programming – through Zoom and Instagram LIVE – to help our students stay active, healthy and maintain a sense of community while they are isolated in their homes.
We hosted yoga sessions, calisthenics workouts, and hip hop classes, and featured healthy recipe demonstration videos. We held virtual guest speaker sessions with everyone from clinical psychologists sharing coping tips to NBA player, Kevin Love, talking to our students about how to stay motivated at home. We’ve been providing resources such as access to free online workouts, meditation playlists, and breathing videos. We’re proud to say that student participation increased by 77% from April to May!
Many of our new systems have in fact worked so well that we feel confident that we’ve now developed a successful model for program continuity in the virtual realm and we are 100% committed to bringing fresh JKL programming to our students at the start of this school year, no matter what.
We’re committed to continuing to provide our students with quality, consistent video content so they can remain engaged with JKL on a deeper level. To that end, we’ve decided to hold virtual nationwide JKL sessions in addition to each school/program’s individual JKL programming calendar. These new offerings will remain in place even if/when we resume regular programming. We’re also going to record each of these sessions and store the videos in our teacher resource folder so all of our teachers can access the content to share with their students anytime, if they cannot attend the live session.
Additionally, we are working on development of a JKL app to make our curriculum more accessible and to help unite the JKL student community nationwide.
Below is our current “Virtual Schedule” of offerings for the Fall, in addition to the curriculum the individual program will be providing for their students:
- Workouts on 2nd and 4th week of each month on Wednesdays
- Workouts will feature JKL Program Manager (and Hip Hop Dance Instructor) Leon Clayborne, Various JKL instructors and Alumni including Coach Nasara from Morse High School in San Diego, JKL Fitness Expert Brendan Cosso leading Calisthenics Workouts, Yoga Sessions from Kirschen Katz and potentially from The Tree South LA
- 3rd week of every month whatever day suites the speaker for that week
- First guest speaker will be Thursday, September 17th: Raphael Ortiz – National Co-Captain of the Black Men Run Organization. A running group that is all about creating a healthy brotherhood amongst African American males, but all are welcomed.
- Calendar set through December. October’s speaker will focus on VOTING. November’s guest speaker is an immigrant from India who received his citizenship with the help of John Lewis whom he had met in D.C. December’s guest speaker is a therapist who will share tips to help cope with stress and anxiety.
- Tips on Tuesdays, LIVE Recipe Demo Sessions featuring nutritionists and chefs, as well as video recordings in the Teacher Resource Folder
MENTAL HEALTH MONDAYS:
- Last Monday of each month except December due to the holiday (our guest speaker for December will be a therapist to make up for the missed session) – we will hold Zoom sessions with licensed therapists to help promote mental health
- In addition to the live zoom there will be a 5 minute prerecorded wellness tip each month as well.
Virtual Community Service Ideas:
- Make cards for nurses, doctors, EMT, firefighters on the front lines
- Help students become pen pals (virtual or through letters) with the elderly
- Students to participate in virtual voter registration drives