Two churches in Mobile, Alabama, set up a safe virtual learning space for school-aged children so working parents do not have to choose between providing for their families and staying home with their kids during online classes.
Dauphin Way United Methodist Church transformed its Sunday school classrooms into spaces for 12 elementary school students between kindergarten and fourth grade, WPMI reported.
For six hours a day, volunteers at the church make sure students stay on pace with their online learning and serve them lunch prepared by Mobile County Public Schools.
“We are trying to meet a need that’s in the community. These parents who need to work and these kids who need to go to school,” organizer and volunteer Fran Lyons said.
Three Circle Church Midtown is also doing the same thing, but for ten students. Pastor Micah Gaston hopes he can expand the program to 35 students.
“We thought it was an opportunity for the church to step up, love, and serve families well,” Pastor Gaston said.
Both churches are undergoing significant efforts to make sure nobody catches the coronavirus. They implement social distancing, temperature checks, and spraying down the classrooms after everyone leaves.
But they have their challenges too, as both churches struggle to recruit enough volunteers to run the programs, extend their operations, and add more students.
There are many other programs like this across the country. In Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, a nonprofit called Urban Youth Kings and Queens brought a virtual learning program capped at 25 students for fifth grade and up to Providence Baptist Church.
And in Houston, Trinity United Methodist Church is also hosting a virtual learning program for up to 75 kids while their parents are at work.