MENTAL HEALTH : TEENS
TheHeroesof THEIR OWN STORIES
Cliffside Park students share their COVID experiences in a two-volume memoir
WRITTEN BY KRISTIE CATTAFI
Late one October night , high school senior Grace Jerred- Scott went on ahike with her family to alake . The second wave of COVID-19 was hitting North Jersey .
For Jerred-Scott , itwas in the stillness of the lake and the quiet of the fall night that she finally found peace after her world had been turned upside-down by the pandemic . When she returned home , she was finally able to turn onthe news , something that she had avoided for months , and process what was happening in the world .
“ The longer westood there , watching the lake in silence , the lighter Ifelt . Icould physically feel the anxiety and the anger and the fear melting off my shoulders ,” she wrote inthe final chapter ofamemoir , The Class of COVID-19 : Second Waves .
Jerred-Scott ’ s story isone of 75 from Cliffside Park High School students collected in the self-published book . In conjunction with Ramapo College , high school students across New Jersey are now being asked to document their journeys , highs and lows , breakthroughs or breakdowns in aproject called The Class of COVID-19 .
The effort was begun by Cliffside Park composition teacher Shawn Adler . Cliffside Park juniors and seniors over the past two years have produced two
POWER THROUGH STORYTELLING Cliffside Park teacher and Ramapo adjunct professor Shawn Adler spearheaded the Class of COVID-19 project , and hopes to expand it to include student input statewide .
volumes of memoirs for The Class of COVID-19 : Insights from the Inside and The Second Wave .
“ It ’ s a chance for them to become the heroes of their own stories and seize control from a time period that makes them feel powerless ,” Adler says . The deluxe edition , featuring both volumes , can be purchased on Amazon . com for
$ 15.95 . All proceeds go back to the students in the form of scholarships .
Ramapo College is now working with Adler , who became an adjunct professor at Ramapo last year , in hopes of expanding the project to include input from students across the state .
Stories will be published digitally , with some selected for a book to be released
28 2022 EDITION ( 201 ) HEALTH