COVID-19 Learning Hubs

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Over affluent parents organizing private learning pods. You have found that there's actually an alternative emerging for families who don't have the means to hire private nannies or tutors. Tell us about that alternative. Yes, So I've been tracking these all over the country in New York City's Amber disco to Memphis, Tennessee, and they're sometimes called learning Hubbs or learning labs. And these air being organized by cities themselves or by school districts offer groups of students a safe place to go during the day and help with remote learning and free WiFi, which a lot of families don't have. And what's really important is they're either free thes. Cubs or very low cost and subsidised for the families that need it. So what exactly do these learning labs heir Learning hubs look like It's it's combo school, plus aftercare yet, basically so these air, you know, obviously really small groups of kids that's important for Corona virus safety. The locations are ranging from, You know, a school building A Y M C. A. A library. Some organizations are looking at the leasing space is like maybe even an empty university campus or a gym. And then, in some cases, school employees are actually working at thes helps. For example, I remember Station reporter over you has a WW Eno. She visited two of these learning hubs in New Orleans. And, she says, while child care is a really big draw. Families are also coming for the WiFi. Let's take a Listen. Dwight D. Eisenhower Charter School School leaders greet mass clad students as they make their way into the building. School normally serves more than 600 students. But today it's expecting fewer than two dozen It's because in New Orleans public schools are technically still close and learning is entirely virtual. Students that are here are attending the schools learning, huh? The cafeteria. Kids were separated into socially distance groups of nine each, quietly working away on their own device. They are loved in their signs up everywhere for the WiFi for she wants to get on to And then there are a lot of adults floating around to help and all the kids are wearing masks. Faculty are wearing masks and face shields as well. Hubs run by educators. Eisenhower principal Rolanda Green says a lot of students are here. For one thing. It literally is to get Internet access. And if you needed technology, we have it here available for you. City estimates that more than 9000 New Orleans students may not have Internet access for remote learning. It's far more kids in the local learning hubs are currently serving. Eisenhower is part of the inspired Nolan Charter Schools Network, which is funding and operating free hubs for almost 600 students. New Orleans public schools has committed to providing every student with a tablet or a laptop. But the devices aren't very helpful without an Internet connection. You can have a computer and can't utilize Google glass rooms right. That's Timlin, Sam's inspired Nola's director of community engagement. She says the hubs are an essential tool for ensuring equal access to virtual learning. She also points out that in New Orleans, a majority black school district, white Children are more likely to attend. A private school are private and parochial schools are back in session. None of our public schools are So we'll white Children are more likely to be back in the classroom. Black and brown students are mostly learning from home in many cases without reliable Internet. Spirt. Nola's hubs offer both Internet and supervision, but only one or two days a week. And even with staggered attendance, the network says it's at capacity with a wait list more than 200 students long City of New Orleans. Also operating learning hubs out of libraries and rec centers like this one in New Orleans East Just open five days a week. Seven greater as moral to Smith says she's happy to get out of her house. I just think I needed the time away from all the noise and distracted at home to come here and I quietly A peaceful Emily Wolf with the mayor's Office of Youth and Families says the city has tried to make the hubs accessible, especially for low income families and those with no Internet. There is still considerable barriers. Families are responsible for transportation and the hubs get funding from the federal government, which involves a lot of paperwork. You know, we wish we could just have him fill out a simple registration performing get signed up right away. But that made it a little bit slower. And unfortunately, you know, for some families, they see all of that. And It's just a barrier. Wolf says. Family submitted interest forms for more than 1000 students in mid August, But so far only 100 Children are registered. City has room for 500 students and is already looking to expand. While the district's youngest students have the option to return to the classroom in mid September, older students will continue with virtual learning until at least mid October. For NPR

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