9-Year-Old Cries With Happiness When Told She’s Going Back To In-Person School

COVID-19 has been difficult on everyone in the world in different ways. Many people have lost their jobs and businesses, millions have lost their lives, and we’ve all lost a year to this terrible pandemic that has robbed us of our ability to be physically close to the people we care about and to get out there and experience everything the world has to offer.

Kids especially have had it very tough, with many of them being taken out of school and forced to learn at home, away from the classroom, their friends, and all the benefits of being taught face-to-face. That’s exactly why a video that popped up online from the activist group Reopen California’s Schools showing a 9-year-old girl literally sobbing with joy upon learning she’s going back to school is so moving.

  1. Fourth-grader Clara Zanotto has been attending school virtually for a year. Zanotto, a student at Redondo Beach School District in Redondo Beach, California, has been learning online since March 2020. Now, finally, after 358 of being away from the classroom and her friends, she’s finally going back, and her reaction to the news is priceless.
  2. While many kids wouldn’t be happy about going to school, Clara certainly is. Kids get so much value out of learning in a physical classroom setting. From in-person interaction with teachers who can address any student concerns and offer more hands-on support to that all-important social interaction with classmates, this environment is certainly preferable to online learning. Clara’s response is a great example of just how much kids need and crave that experience.
  3. Even Clara’s mom was shocked at her daughter’s response. Zarine Zanotto told Good Morning America that she totally expected Clara to be excited about going back to school, but the fact that the little girl got so emotional about it came as much more of a surprise. “Usually her reaction is screaming and jumping and she had the opposite. She had the very emotional, deep cry,” Zarine said.
  4. Clara did struggle with at-home schooling. While Zarine was there to help Clara through recorded lessons, the 9-year-old began learning well on her own once the live classes started with the teacher. However, she still struggled in many ways. “She was staying positive,” Zanotto recalled. “She was anxious at the beginning like most of us were in the beginning. She learned techniques to cope with her anxiety … we went through therapy.”
  5. Zarine is thrilled that so many people are sharing her video. “It’s spreading the love and it was so cheerful to see the school alive last week,” she said. “The sound of the little backpacks rolling and the kids giggling — that’s everything.” Congrats on getting back to school, Clara!
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