COVID-19 puts full court press on 4th-grader’s hoop dreams

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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”, AJ Brown.

It is hard to believe that a virus you cannot even see has changed so many lives. In just a few weeks, we went from having busy schedules to having no schedule at all. The coronavirus affected me because I have not been able to go to school or play sports.

I miss having recess with my friends. All my friends are stuck in their houses too and I’m sad that I can’t see them. It will be weird if we go back to school in September and I’ll be in 5th grade already. I also miss my teachers. I would rather do work in the classroom than do it on the computer.

All my sports have been canceled. Before this started I had just celebrated a 21-2 CYO basketball season winning the Orange County 4th grade championship and was looking

Student Journalist AJ Brown at Duke Blue Devils basketball camp.

forward to baseball season. Now, I practice with my dad, but I wish we were playing games. It has been weird not watching live sports on T.V. Sports keep me interested and I especially liked to watch the NCAA basketball tournament and the New York Yankees opening day game. Now there is nothing to watch.

The coronavirus affected my family also. My Aunt Kelly is a nurse. A few weeks ago, she got very sick and tested positive for the virus. She had to go and stay with her mom away from her daughters and my uncle for two weeks so that they would not get sick. She has gotten better but when she is all cured, she has to go back to work and that would be scary.

My great Gram’s nursing home also was affected. Many older people where she lives got sick and some even died. Now my great Gram has to stay in a room by herself and we can’t go near her when we visit. Last week she turned 91 and nobody was even allowed to give her a birthday hug. My birthday is also very soon and I can’t have a party or go out for dinner. It is a big year for me this year because I am turning 10 and I won’t even be able to celebrate with my friends. My family has been sending me presents in the mail instead of coming to visit me. 

Our community is strong. Moving forward we need to support each other like we are right now. During the quarantine we helped by ordering take out at local Montgomery restaurants. We should still continue to do this after this is over. We should also continue to wash our hands and wipe down shopping carts to keep others from getting sick. We should also learn to not take spending time with friends and family for granted. It is important to stay calm during a crisis like this. You can help your community by looking out for one another. I hope a crisis like this never happens again, but if it does I feel like our community, school and even my family will be prepared. 

About the author:

Student Journalist AJ Brown.

I am AJ Brown, a resident of Montgomery. I am currently in fourth grade at Berea Elementary school. I live with both my parents, Matt Brown a teacher in Newburgh and Tara Brown a teacher in Valley Central. I have a younger sibling named Kourtney who is in second grade I have grandparents and family all around the United States. My favorite subject in school is history because I like learning about different people and things. Outside of school, I enjoy sports. The sports I play are basketball and baseball. I play for the Hudson Valley Gladiators 10u travel baseball team. My dad is the coach. My favorite positions are third base, shortstop, and pitcher. My favorite MLB team is the New York Yankees. My favorite player on the Yankees is DJ LeMahieu. I enjoy going to Yankee games and Cooperstown with my family. I also play basketball my CYO team St. Mary’s won the Orange County 4th Grade championship last month. I also play for an AAU team called Triple Threat but our season has not started due to the pandemic. My favorite college basketball team is the Duke Blue Devils. I enjoy going to Myrtle Beach and going to Duke basketball camp in the summer. I go to Myrtle Beach with my cousins, my grandma, and my family. At Duke Basketball camp, I go with my dad and grandpa we have a lot of fun. I also have gone to Disney World, my favorite ride there is Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster. When I grow up, I want to be a famous NBA basketball player.  

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.