Extra curricular programs move to online classes


Small businesses or organizations who offer extra curricular programs for students have switched to online classes because of COVID-19. Like many people who have had to move their work from a physical to a virtual space, there is a learning curve.

Kimberly Epps, a voice coach for the Otis Redding Foundation, is a hands-on teacher.

“I was like, how am I going to work this with this distance and I can’t be in the same room and I can’t give them and show them that intensity face to face,” she said.

The foundation tested out a few options to evaluate what would work best for the students. They decided on Google Hangout. 

Epps said, “It’s actually been really cool. I mean, the kids are super excited. Their energy sort of feeds mine.  I think that it’s definitely broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to just how much you can do from a distance.”

Remote classes were already being offered at OKS Martial Arts and Fitness in Macon. The owner and sensei, Michael Brewster, wanted to do more to help parents out. He set up a Free YouTube channel with workouts for kids. 

“If they don’t have their kid do anything at home, they’re gonna be pulling their hair out and that kid’s gonna be jumping off the wall,” he said. “They’re not going to school, they’re not doing much of anything. So this is a[n] easy way for parents to put their kids in something.”

Extracurricular activities might be done in a different setting, but they still can provide kids with an outlet.

“This is a time where they can really channel their emotions and really have the time to be creative, you know. [They can] sort of sit with their thoughts, and sit with their music, and sit with their craft and really work to build their skills,” said Epps.

Nothing can replace in-person classes but instructors are hopeful that kids who chose to take the courses online will get something out of it. 

Brewster said it’s a lesson in not giving up. “You don’t want to teach your kids to live in fear. You know you want to respect things and be careful for sure but you can’t let things beat you. You know, we’re here to succeed, this is not going to stop us.” 



For more on online music lessons, contact The Otis Redding Foundation
For more on online Karate classes, contact OKS Martial Arts and Fitness.