By MHA News – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Even though the corridors and classrooms of Mile High Academy are quiet for the summer, the sports fields and gymnasium aren’t.  Creating ways for families and students to connect during the break is in full swing.

MHA administrators and teachers know how important fellowship and normalcy is to youth and young adult lives post-pandemic.

“Our kids really suffered due to all the COVID restrictions,” Walter Weber, middle school teacher said. “It’s fun seeing our students and [their] families laughing and enjoying events and evenings together. It feels more ‘normal,’ and [is] another example of the resiliency of our community.”

For the elementary school students, the weekly pick-up baseball games are a great way to connect and fellowship. For the middle-school students, two recent events provided the togetherness that many students have been longing for.

The first event was a week-long basketball clinic for the middle-school girls. They were coached through various skill drills, including general basketball etiquette, dribbling, passing, and learning how to work together as a team. Both current and former Mustang basketball players came together to help the 22 girls improve their skills on the court.

Why hold a basketball clinic? For Weber, the answer was simple. They are trying to give the girls what they missed during the school year–sports.

“The middle schoolers really felt the effects of the pandemic, which included not being able to have a basketball season last year. I wanted to give the girls an opportunity to come together for a few days to have fun, get refreshed on their basketball skills so they’re ready for the upcoming season, and just enjoy some time with their friends,” Walter commented.

The other opportunity for the students to grow together had to be adjusted because of the weather, but the students were still happy to be with their friends. The initial plan was to converge at the Chatfield Reservoir swim beach on Friday, June 25 for paddle boarding, swimming, a scavenger hunt, hot dog supper and vespers. However, since the event was postponed to Sunday because of rainy weather, and the weather was still not cooperating, the gathering transitioned into an open-gym night with volleyball, basketball and pizza for the 60 who had assembled.

“It was fun to see everyone. While I was bummed, we couldn’t be at the lake, Mr. Weber and Mrs. Hernández still made it a fun evening to be with my friends,” Logen, seventh-grader said.

Besides the weekly Monday baseball pick-up games for third through fifth-grades, the next event will be an high school evening at the MHA soccer field on July 12.

–MHA News; photos supplied