NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Many schools across the country are starting the year online, but in a time when many families are struggling financially, some parents aren’t able to stay home with their kids. The West Nashville Dream Center created a school room staffed with volunteers to help.
“It’s kind of like Little House on the Prairie, it’s a one room school house,” said WNDC Executive Director Teri Jo Fletcher, “We’ve got all the tables socially distanced, they’ve got masks on. We have a volunteer or staff person that logs them into their particular program.”
They’ve accepted 32 students kindergarten through twelfth grade in split schedules for 2-3 days a week.
“We filled up in about two days because the need was so great,” Fletcher explained.
As one of the only virtual schools open in the city, they’re hoping others will step up to help.
“There’s definitely the ability for nonprofits, churches, community centers to do it in a safer way, we would take all the kids if we could, but in order to keep it safe, we only took as many as we could fit into the one room we have,” Fletcher said.
The kids also get a free lunch donated from Second Harvest. Volunteers are scheduled for 2-4 hour shifts.
“We are basically inviting anyone right now to come volunteer with us,” Communications Director Miranda, Telford said, “Anyone who many have a teaching background that can come serve, but also people who are just willing to step in to moments where maybe a parent can’t do that because of their job.”
If school returns to real classrooms, they’ll need volunteers to set up tutoring.
“We understand we are putting ourselves at risk by opening up the building, but the way that we see it is – our families are always at risk,” Fletcher said, “Hopefully, by the time they either go back to school or start synchronized learning, they’ll already have the tools to be able to do it themselves. So we’re trying to empower them to be able to do it for however long they need to do it.”
If you’d like to sign up to volunteer in the school, click here.
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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )