Teen Task Forces Aim to Slow Transmission of COVID-19
(CARMEL, NOVEMBER 20, 2020)
Seniors from four Hamilton County high schools have partnered with the Hamilton County Health Department to launch an educational campaign designed to keep kids in school. Called “Show Some C.L.A.S.S,” the campaign outlines five basic rules students and families should follow to help keep children healthy and in the classroom.
C – Check your child’s temperature every morning before sending them to school.
L – Lead by example. Be sure to wear a mask and model good social distancing.
A – Avoid social gatherings. Slumber parties, carpools, and birthday parties are discouraged.
S – Schedule a test if you or someone in your family exhibits signs of COVID-19.
S – Stay home until you receive your test results or if you are not feeling well.
Together, Teen Task Forces from Carmel High School, Hamilton Heights High School, Sheridan High School, and Westfield High School have helped spread the C.L.A.S.S. acronym among their peers by producing educational videos, making daily announcements, creating school banners, and taking over the Health Department’s social media accounts.
For Megan Lunn, a senior at Sheridan High School, her involvement in the project is personal. “I was one of the first students in school to get COVID-19 back in September,” Lunn says. “I underestimated the severity of the virus and wasn’t wearing my mask or social distancing. The 10 days I was sick were some of the worst of my life. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else and want to share my story so perhaps others can prevent getting sick.”
Olivia Yott and her fellow classmates at Hamilton Heights High School just returned to school this week after a recent outbreak of COVID-19 sent them home to learn virtually for two weeks.
“After quarantine, I realized how much we take being in school and being with our friends for granted,” Yott says. “As a senior leader, I want to encourage all students to respect the rules and follow the guidelines, so we can continue to be in school and power through the uncertainty together.”
“Our students are committed to staying in school,” said David Woodward, Director of Student Services for Carmel Clay Schools. “Contact tracing tells us transmission is not happening primarily in our school buildings. So, the real ask from these kids to their peers is to live by the C.L.A.S.S. acronym outside of the school building. It’s going to take a village to keep our classrooms open and kids in school.”
With the seasons changing, the flu and cold season gearing up, and winter sports scheduled to start soon, the Teen Task Forces will be critical in keeping teens informed. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, high-school-age students are responsible for the largest number of new positive COVID-19 cases reported among those in the 0-19 age group.
“We’re not naive enough to think that teens are looking to the Centers for Disease Control or the Health Department for COVID-19 guidance,” said Tammy Sander, creator of the Show Some C.L.A.S.S. campaign. “They get their information from very different sources than adults, so for this campaign to be successful, we knew we’d need to meet them where they’re at. That’s why the Teen Task Forces have been such an integral part of the campaign.“
The C.L.A.S.S. campaign has also enlisted the help of teachers, local libraries, youth sports organizations, and parent-teacher organizations. For those interested in learning more, visit www.showsomeclass.org.
Members of the Teen Task Forces (in order in the photos):
Carmel High School: Tyler Young, Jasmine Hsu, Lillian He, and Jack Ducat
Hamilton Heights High School: Jade Voltz, Olivia Yott, Erik Malott, Josh Russell, and Kim Trese
Sheridan High School: Cameron Hovey, Cole Bales, Leah Moorman, Megan Lunn, Allie Delph, Lillie Dickerson
Westfield High School: Benji Welch, Peighton Isley, and Jake Richardson (not pictured: Sarah Weglarz and Ellary Detamore)