Brother and sister admit to missing school because of COVID-19

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Student Journalist Riley Cohen.

Mid-Hudson News has launched a “Student Journalist” section to allow elementary, middle, and high-school students to write essays or “news as they see it” for submission.  The following is an essay from one of our “Student Journalists”, Riley Cohen and her older brother Matthew.

My brother and I did not expect our first and last years of middle school to be like this. We were looking forward to drama club, field trips, and other afterschool activities. COVID-19 has definitely affected our school year and lives. There are pros and cons to this stay at home order.

Some good things have come out of this; more time with family, more alone time, and also some time to relax. Over the weekend and spring break, I enjoy baking with my mom and playing card or board games with my family. When we’re not doing schoolwork, we are playing on our Xbox, listening to music and watching videos, reading, or playing with our toys. Almost every day, we go outside for a walk with our dad. We even downloaded an app for running and set up a makeshift golf course on our lawn. He is fortunate to be working from home.

This time has also been hard for us. We miss seeing our friends and cousins, but we are glad that we can stay in touch through texting, FaceTime, and MessengerKids. My brother uses the Discord app to stay in touch with his friends. My class set up a Zoom meeting, so we could talk. My brother and I go to St. Mary’s School in Fishkill, NY. I was looking forward to drama club and select chorus, and my brother enjoys being on the stage crew for drama club. A big reason why this has affected us is that this is our first year at the school. We have adjusted well, but this was strange and unexpected. My brother is in eighth grade, and this was not how he wanted to spend his last year in middle school.

We definitely miss our teachers. We are all learning how to deal with this situation, and they have been really great about bringing the classroom to our computers. Sometimes with online learning, there are disconnects, and it is different from physically being in the classroom and working things out, but the teachers add comments and send emails to help us when we have questions. We begin our “school” day after breakfast around 8:00 am and usually finish work around 2:30 to 3:00 pm. We take short breaks to relax or play, have a snack, and eat lunch. Typically, we’ll have pages to read, videos to watch and answer questions on, or a writing assignment in our different subjects. The specials’ teachers are also sending assignments for art, Spanish, and music. Quizzes and tests are given through Google Forms or other online educational sites.

Riley & Matthew Cohen – Student Journalists.

Even though we are not used to this, we are trying to adjust to this new normal. We are keeping our social distance and staying healthy. We hope that we will continue to stay safe and so will everyone else, especially frontline workers. We thank them for all that they are doing.

About the author:
My name is Riley Cohen, I am ten years old, and I am a fifth-grader at St. Mary’s School in Fishkill, NY. I enjoy reading, writing, singing, and dancing. My favorite subject is science. My brother Matthew is thirteen years old, and he is an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s School. He is a black belt in Brazilian Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and likes to read and play video games.

If you have a student that is interested in writing a submission, please send an email to Todd Bender at and ask for the submission requirements.