Churches in the Springfield, Missouri area are helping families adjust to virtual learning via learning pods and making sure children still receive lunch, according to Ozarks First. The King’s Way United Methodist Church is offering a free learning pod where students can access school virtually with supervision while their parents are at work. As uncertainty with in-school learning continues, this service is able to provide some relief for families who may find themselves in difficult situations balancing work and virtual learning.
The Associate Pastor of King’s Way United Methodist Church, Scott Bons, explained that students remain at least six feet apart while in the learning pod and are instructed to wear masks, except for while eating lunch. Supervisors in the learning pod help students access their virtual classrooms and handle issues with technology. Additionally, supervisors help students with their homework and are there to answer any questions that will help them be successful in their virtual learning experience.
The Superintendent of the local school district, Richard Asbill, shared that one of his concerns was not being able to provide food to students due to short-handed staff and the move to virtual learning. Upon learning about this challenge, The Heights Church volunteered to provide lunches for students. The Heights Church Pastor, Matt Bunn, explained that the community has many families who depend on the food provided by the school, and they wanted to make sure that no one went hungry during this time.
In these uncertain times, having community support helps to alleviate anxiety for families who may not be able to make such quick adjustments to virtual learning for their children. In many households, parents are not home but are at work during school hours. With the help of churches, such as the King’s Way United Methodist Church, parents need not worry that their children will have a safe place to learn with supervision while they are at work. Additionally, churches stepping up to help feed students who may depend on school-provided meals adds to the relief that each child will still be able to have lunch. When working together, communities make such a difference that not only helps deal with emergency situations, but makes a positive impact that improves each person’s experience as they cope with these changes.