I am the band director at Boise High School. This Fall our entire music department is doing a thematic unit on "Heroes." Not only are we learning & performing music based on the theme, we chose over the summer to really double down on our community focus both within and outside of our school.
If you have a moment to check out our department Instagram (@boise_brave_music), you'll see some of the student work samples we've posted so far. One of our early assignments was to have students write a letter to a hero - we have some great ones posted on our Instagram feed - several of the responses have indicated how much it matters to people to be seen, heard, and appreciated. A little bit of positive attention and thank you can go a long way.
Here is an example of how we have asked students to pay forward back into the community:
There's a lot we can do to help our young people cope, contribute, and help right now and they need it. I know my students have felt that the community service project we're doing has been an uplifting experience for them and those they are serving.