Safely socializing during a pandemic is important for students’ well-being, experts say

Video: Safely socializing during a pandemic is important for students' well-being, experts say

LONGWOOD, Fla. — With school now back in session, students across Central Florida are getting involved in clubs and activities.

For some of them, it’s the first time since March, that they have been around other students.

A local psychologist said socializing in this pandemic, if done safely, is important for students' well-being.

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The Rock Lake Middle School Beta Club has been meeting virtually since the beginning of school, discussing the community projects is plans to take on this year.

This Saturday, members of the club went hiking along the Wekiva Trail in the Markum Woods neighborhood and cleaned up trash.

“Well, it’s definitely a challenge because we are a club of about a hundred kids, and we have to split up into very small groups so that everybody safe,” said Beta Club adviser, Liz Singer. “But we are still trying to do as much as we can to help the community.”

Behind the masks, there were smiles and laughter. It was the first time they have been together in person since last March due to COVID-19.

The Beta Club’s advisor said she has seen an uptick in students asking how they can join the club.

Psychologist Deborah Day said it’s important for children to have social relationships and social outlets.

She said these social interactions help fend off sadness, improve self-esteem and build confidence.