On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, Alliance for Greater Works hosted our fifth webinar in our special Town Hall series entitled, “Back to School: Making Sure Our Children Aren’t Left Behind.” The focus of this webinar was to support children, families, teachers, administrators, and communities as they transition back to school during the current pandemic. Most children in Texas have returned to school virtually, and while that may keep them physically safe, it presents another set of challenges, particularly in rural communities.

Children are suffering emotionally and mentally due to social distancing and the inability to interact with their classmates. Many are suffering academically, especially elementary age students, because virtual learning does not provide the same advantage as physical interaction with teachers. And, others are suffering due to the lack of broadband access. In some instances, lack of financial resources prevents students from having access to the internet in their home, but in rural communities, broadband is oftentimes not available. These challenges cause stress and anxiety for students. Academic regression is a real concern that is amplified by the threat of an unseen enemy, the Coronavirus.

And while students are our primary concern, supporting parents, teachers, administrators are vital to the well-being of our communities. In this Town Hall, our panel of experts provided resources and tools to better equip parents, whether working inside or outside the home, to parent their child in a pandemic. We believe it takes a village to raise a child, and now more than ever, that premise rings true. Creating and sticking to a schedule is a tool parents can implement to help their children normalize distance learning. For parents who aren’t technologically savvy, teenage siblings and friends are possible solutions to reduce the technology gap.

This unprecedented time requires innovative and creative solutions to minimize the academic regression that many predict will happen during this time. To listen to our entire Town Hall, please visit The Alliance for Greater Works Facebook page. For a complete toolkit of resources to help navigate this season, visit our website, alliancetx.org.

By: Christie Dobbins
Community Engagement Specialist
Alliance for Greater Works

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