The past year has brought many changes to the ways children and adults connect and communicate. In-person classes, meetings, and travel have been set aside temporarily, and new modes of connection have become vital.
At Clonlara School, we have developed a variety of ways for our students and families to stay socially connected while remaining physically distant. If you’re craving some virtual interaction with the Clonlara family around the globe, try one (or several) of our current offerings.
Being a pen pal with another Clonlara student is a great way to make friends, practice writing, and develop communication skills. All students in grades K–12 are invited to request a pen pal and can be connected based on interests, geography, language, or other criteria.
High school students are encouraged to interact on Clonlara’s private Discord server, which includes channels for language practice, clubs, and a variety of special interests. For example, students can join a channel to share ideas about fashion design, gaming, or films. Audio and video capabilities add flexibility and fun to this platform.
Cecelia F., one of Clonlara’s online students, gives a good example of what’s possible with Discord. “I found people who had common interests,” she says. “I now have friends I talk to [each] week, and I’ve started groups with Clonlara students where we play games and talk about our interests. I’m so grateful that Clonara has Discord.” For students who may be nervous about joining, she offers these words of encouragement: “Please do! It’s an amazing time with really great people who are doing the same stuff and classes as you. You’ll feel really welcome!”
Clonlara advisors are continually launching new virtual clubs focused on specific topics, such as book, art, and STEM clubs for various ages. We have plans to add Lego clubs and a middle school book club as well. After this semester’s art club, one parent shared, “Vera enjoyed every session and was happy to participate in every topic. [The kids] were present every week with great artwork, and we started knowing them better because of the club!”
Family Zoom Calls
Each month, Clonlara students and/or families can join a Zoom call to discuss a chosen topic, ask questions, and hear about other students’ experiences. These calls offer a chance to see and hear from advisors and other Clonlara families around the world.
Celebrations of Learning
Once a month, elementary students can share their learning with their peers on a celebration Zoom call. Students are invited to prepare a formal presentation, review a book, share a project, recite a poem—the possibilities are endless! Many students have connected in the chat over shared interests and projects, with some even deciding to become pen pals.
Clonlara seniors can choose to connect with their peers who are working on similar capstone projects. Writers, filmmakers, musicians, and more can share ideas, get feedback, and hold each other accountable in these cohorts.
As an enrolled Clonlara family, you are invited and encouraged to participate in at least one virtual opportunity. We value our diverse student body and believe that there’s great benefit in collaboration, connection, and discussion that results from these interactions.
Do you have request or idea for a club or another way to stay connected? Please let us know.