During the week of April 27, Concord Academy took a break from its regular distance learning plan to host an interim week full of virtual community events and activities. One of the main events was Red and Blue Day, which lasted three days. Normally, Red and Blue Day is similar to a field day: students are split into groups within the red and blue teams, and they participate in a number of lawn games to get points. Due to the pandemic, however, the event consisted of virtual team bonding with various games and challenges that could be done at home. The interim week also had two reading days, which consisted of everything from read alouds to discussions of poetry and literature. While the community can not physically be together during these times, the interim week strove to create a sense of unity even while we are apart. 

The 2020 Red and Blue Days started with a large community event, which was usually a Kahoot about members of the community. After, the smaller groups met to face the day’s challenge; they ranged from writing a song or making a Tik Tok to recreating a famous work of art. The winners of the challenges had their work displayed in a slideshow at the end of the week. After all the points were tallied, the Red Team ended up winning the whole event.

While students appreciated the time and effort that went into setting Red and Blue Day up, some felt that engagement from the student body was low. 

“[I] thought the plan was okay in theory, but I ended up being the only one in my group other than the leaders who submitted things.” Abby Kaufman ’21 shared. However she also noted that “the leaders did everything they could to make the experience as fun as possible under the circumstances.” 

The other part of the interim week were the two reading days that occurred. An idea originally conceived by Vedika Sharma ’20 as part of her Head of School campaign, reading days served to bring the community together through literature. Students and faculty volunteered to host different meetings; some had lighter content such as the Dr. Seuss read aloud hosted by Sally Zimmerli, and others were heavier, such as the discussion about fantasy literature and escapism hosted by Shreya Patel ’21. 

“I was hoping to bring people together and provide a place to relax,” Shreya shared. When asked about her topic of choice, Shreya said that she chose it because she “wanted to share my love for fantasy literature and also connect to our shared experiences — I was wondering if other students are also driving comfort from traveling to imaginary places like I am.”

The interim week events created a space for the community to gather even though it’s not physically together during these times. While Red and Blue day wasn’t what it normally was, Vedika, Matthew, and the whole student life office did an excellent job making it an enjoyable event for everyone.