SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — It’s been over a year since secondary schools in Santa Barbara County held classes on campus.
For Santa Barbara Junior High School ASB president Benjamin Watson, it’s been tough at times.
“Not being able to see your friends,” he said. “That’s always one of the best parts of school, so it’s super hard.”
“iI’s really sad because I haven’t been able to see the friends that I really care about,” La Colina Junior High School eighth grade ASB vice president Kian Strenn said.
In an effort to reach the state’s red reopening tier — which would allow junior high schools to return with in-person learning — some students put together their own Hope for Red Pledge.
This created a friendly competition between Santa Barbara Junior High, La Colina and Goleta Valley to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Everybody was so excited,” Strenn said. “It was exploding on social media and I really hadn’t seen anything like it before.”
“Makes me feel very hopeful that we will be able to go back to campus and hopefully stay on campus,” Watson said.
After weeks of work, the county’s case rate will finally fall into the state’s red reopening tier on Tuesday.
This will allow some schools to open later this week.
“I don’t know if this is the normal reaction but I physically jumped for joy,” Goleta Valley ASB president Andy Brennan said.
“To go back in-person and see them all again, it’ll really just bring so much joy,” Strenn said.
However, these kids aren’t letting their guard down.
“It’s possible that if schools open and if spring break goes terribly and we get a crazy amount of cases, our schools could close again,” Watson explained.
The campaign concludes on Friday.
So they’re hoping to get as many people as possible to take the pledge.
“Even when we do get into the red tier, we’re trying to hold that and keep our community safe,” Brennan concluded. “It’s going to be important for months to come, not just now.”
The school with the most pledges will be announced on Monday March 29th.
All teens who pledged will also be entered into a raffle to win prizes such as Sonos wireless speakers and gift cards from local businesses.
To take the Hope for Red Pledge, click here.