Altered Spring Fling held due to virus concerns

Graham Hill, Editor in Chief

Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus, the annual Spring Fling event on March 13 was altered.  

Instead of being held at the baseball field with visiting first graders, several clubs were invited to set up on the patio area during the day to create their products, which would later be sent to the elementary schools.  

“It was out of precaution not only for our students, but the elementary students… you don’t want to give any reason for anyone to have concerns,” assistant principal Erin Mellnick said. “We made the decision that the elementary schoolers would not be attending so this was our compromise in the sense of having the clubs that were producing something, like a gift, for the elementary students… sort of as a ‘wish you were here’ kind of thing.”  

Anime club was one of the organizations that set up on the patio, in the club’s first ever Spring Fling. There, students were able to be taught how to make origami cranes. Club president senior Natasya Martinez was one of the club members staffing the table. 

Well, originally since this was for kids, we wanted to do an activity that was easy and fun at the same time, but obviously high schoolers are having fun with it too,” Martinez said. “I think that the Plant kids are really liking it and its going really, really well. So far we’ve made a lot of paper cranes.”  

Senior Alexis Perno brought in a diabolo, sometimes called a Chinese yo-yo, and taught other students how to use it and perform tricks.  

“I am terrible at origami and I don’t know anything about it so I asked if I could bring the yo-yo so I learned a couple tricks, it was really easy to pick up, and now I’m teaching people how to play,” Perno said. I’m really bummed that actual Spring Fling got cancelled because I’m a senior and I’d never been asked to participate the past three years so I was really looking forward to it, but you know what, we make the best of every situation.” 

Cold Stone Creamery was also present on the patio to provide ice cream, an event separate from Spring Fling that had been organized by assistant principal Napoleon Wade. 

“Basically it was an incentive to get kids to take a survey to tell us what they need from us at Plant High School to make this the best school ever, to make this the best school experience for them,” Wade said. “Sometimes when you ask people to do stuff, they’ll be lazy about it, but if they know they’ll get something they want, you’ll have greater participation. And so far we’ve had almost 70% of the school take the survey- usually we have about 30.” 

The previous day, students took the survey in their second period and received a coupon. They were then able to redeem this coupon at the Cold Stone table and receive ice cream.  

“It was nice how everyone could kind of attend it and it incentivized an activity normally that wouldn’t be very fun to do and most people don’t do,” senior Haroon Farooqi said. “It’s a really nice treat that they hosted this. It’s a nice way to end [the quarter].” 

Some students expressed appreciation for the school’s efforts to keep things positive in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I really think it boosts spirits around here because I know a lot of kids are worried about the impact of the coronavirus, especially on their spring break plans,” Perno said. “This is a nice little break from all the panic and the upsetting news.”