The Missing Hours: 7 Students on Losing a Year of After-School Activities

For Adrian Rosales, 17, Greenbelt Recreation Center in Staten Island helped him stay close to his childhood friends after they went off to different high schools. Since last March, all of the city’s 36 recreation centers have been closed to the general public. But that didn’t stop Adrian, a senior at Susan E. Wagner High School, and his friends. I would end school around 2:30 p.m. My school is very close to Greenbelt, less than a 10-minute walk, so my friends and I would walk right to the rec center. Once we got there, we would do our homework in the computer room. Then, we would go to the weight-lifting room and work out together. After, we would go out to the field and play a game of football. We would play for hours, as much game time as we could until it got dark. My friend group are kids I met in elementary school. A lot of us were scattered across high schools but our meeting point was Greenbelt. We basically grew up there. We have a group chat, I believe it’s with 22 people, called Greenbelt Gang. Right now, the rec center is closed but the field has been open to the public. I’m just so happy they didn’t close the field down. Once June came around, we went back to the field almost every day. Once school started, it was a little harder. We would go once or twice a week. When it got cold, we would go once a month. But three weeks ago, we were so tired of waiting to go that even though there was snow on the field, we didn’t care. We had to go play. So we literally brought shovels with us. It was almost an hour of shoveling but we still played and it was really fun. Without that, it would’ve been very, very tough on me to go through all these months without going to school. Knowing you’re gonna see your friends for at least a couple of hours in the week, it’s something we all look forward to.

The Missing Hours: 7 Students on Losing a Year of After-School Activities
For Adrian Rosales, 17, Greenbelt Recreation Center in Staten Island helped him stay close to his childhood friends after they went off to different high schools. Since last March, all of the city’s 36 recreation centers have been closed to the general public. But that didn’t stop Adrian, a senior at Susan E. Wagner High School, and his friends. I would end school around 2:30 p.m. My school is very close to Greenbelt, less than a 10-minute walk, so my friends and I would walk right to the rec center. Once we got there, we would do our homework in the computer room. Then, we would go to the weight-lifting room and work out together. After, we would go out to the field and play a game of football. We would play for hours, as much game time as we could until it got dark. My friend group are kids I met in elementary school. A lot of us were scattered across high schools but our meeting point was Greenbelt. We basically grew up there. We have a group chat, I believe it’s with 22 people, called Greenbelt Gang. Right now, the rec center is closed but the field has been open to the public. I’m just so happy they didn’t close the field down. Once June came around, we went back to the field almost every day. Once school started, it was a little harder. We would go once or twice a week. When it got cold, we would go once a month. But three weeks ago, we were so tired of waiting to go that even though there was snow on the field, we didn’t care. We had to go play. So we literally brought shovels with us. It was almost an hour of shoveling but we still played and it was really fun. Without that, it would’ve been very, very tough on me to go through all these months without going to school. Knowing you’re gonna see your friends for at least a couple of hours in the week, it’s something we all look forward to.