The staff at Andover Youth Services has turned to social media as away to stay connected with students during the school-closure phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, students who dialed up the program's Instagram account were treated to virtual game shows. 

 "The first day, we sent out a contest and didn't get a big response," said Bill Fahey, director of the program. "It's the live stuff that seems to work, so we did our first 'Jeopardy' show and 120 people tuned in."

An hour after that, it was "Name That Tune." The game included a host, two contestants and a camera phone operator who recorded the proceedings, while commenting on student feedback as it happened.

"The kids in this town are unbelievable," said Fahey. "We're fortunate enough to have that relationship with them." 

Other themes on the interactive slate include cooking shows, an athletic workout of the day and a contest called "Who Wants to be a T-shirtaire?'' — a play on the popular TV show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?''

"If this place can't be here for the kids in a physical sense,'' Fahey said of the Youth Center, "why not take advantage and do it in the virtual sense. This way we keep the message out there that things are gonna be OK."

The plan is to continue the virtual fun until schools reopen, Fahey said.

— Sean Murphy



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