School closures and the plan to begin our school year with distance learning impacts everyone in our community.

The new reality challenges us to rethink the way we live, work, play and learn as we adapt to evolving COVID-19 guidelines for our health and safety. These changes will have the most significant impact on our students, and we want to ensure they have a voice.

As a senior, it was a challenge to accept that the end-of-year events I had looked forward to since I was young didn’t happen, said Carlsbad High School 2020 alumna Catherine Allen.

Catherine is one of 11,000 public school students in Carlsbad whose life drastically changed with school closures and event cancellations. She is also a member of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation’s Student Leadership Council (SLC), a high school program focused on leadership development and student engagement in our community. The SLC is one of the programs that adapted to a virtual format during the state shutdown.

“Having a platform through the SLC to discuss obstacles like this pandemic helped me adapt with my peers, reminding me that I’m not facing this alone,” said Allen.

The Foundation provides programs like the SLC in alignment with the Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD). There is a program for every student, from Kindergarten through graduation, in relevant subject areas such as STEAM, Music, and Innovation.

The COVID-19 health and economic crisis presents a unique opportunity to support Carlsbad schools’ collective movement during this critical time.

Your support of the Foundation’s #MoveForwardTogether campaign will help adapt critical and relevant academic programs that inspire and bring hope to every Carlsbad public school student.

Learn more this September during the Foundation’s “Education is COVID-19 Urgent” panel webinar focusing on the pandemic’s social-emotional impact on students. Receive information about this event by visiting www.CarlsbadEd.org.

To support students in Carlsbad Unified School District during this most challenging time, donate at www.CarlsbadEd.org/donate.

This article appeared in the August 2020 Carlsbad Business Journal.