January 11, 2021Lions Quest Helps Students Adjust to Changes Caused by COVID-19It should be no surprise that COVID-19 is affecting today’s children and their education. Adjusting to online learning, adapting to a new way of life, and learning about an uncertain and seemingly ever-changing virus is giving children a level of stress they may have never known before. Though life can be a little scary these days, Lions Quest, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)’s social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, is helping children adjust.Lions Quest teaches children life skills that help develop happy, confident children who make choices for a successful future. Children learn decision-making skills, communication skills, and how to say no to drugs and alcohol. They learn positive behavior such as managing emotions, and showing empathy. In addition, service learning helps the children understand the importance of serving their communities.Teachers in Calumet City, Illinois, USA understand that COVID-19 has caused stress and made teaching Lions Quest a priority, which is why they are making sure the children still receive their Lions Quest lessons. In fact, for the first week of the 2020-2021 school year, teachers focused solely on SEL. “We understand that this pandemic has been traumatic and there is no way we could expect our students to jump right in and start performing,” says Dr. Tamara Young, Director of Special Education for the school district and a Lion at Calumet City Lions Club. “We needed to make sure their social and emotional well-being was intact before we started academics.”As the school year started out online, teachers delivered Lions Quest lessons over video. Since the program began last year, Dr. Young has noticed an improvement in the school climate, adding that Lions Quest provided teachers the tools needed to have conversations with their students on tough topics.Lions Quest also inspired events for the children as they started out the new online school year. Principal Regina Huston, also a member of Calumet City Lions Club, hosted a parking lot orientation to help students adjust. It was a socially distanced outdoor event, which provided the students hot dogs and trinkets to take home. It was the perfect opportunity for children and their parents to meet their teachers and the other students in their class.Later in the year, when the new Lions Quest journals were ready for pick-up, the district took the opportunity to create a fun event for the children. The students were invited to wear their Halloween costumes and received bags of candy along with their new journals and classroom materials.“Bringing social and emotional learning into our schools is the best thing we could have done,” says Dr. Young. “In today’s world, school is not just about academics anymore. It’s also about the social wellbeing of our students. Lions Quest helps support where we are now.”To learn more about Lions Quest, read the LCIF Special Feature here.