Distance learning impacting underserved and low-income communities
The coronavirus has changed the way many area students are learning in school.
“The struggle becomes amplified when you have something like COVID-19, because they don’t have that one-on-one contact. They don’t have the teacher's input,” said Bay County Resident Vanessa Waddell.
Waddell said working with the distance learning program has been tough for her 14-year-old son Jolon.
“A lot of the programs were difficult to understand, difficult to follow, and difficult to upload,” said Waddell.
Waddell said other students like her son who live in underserved and low-income communities are having issues with the distance learning program. She said the program is also taking a toll on parents.
“You have the struggle of going to work every day, coming home running your household, and helping your child with classwork with some things you never got taught. So you’re trying to figure it out together,” said Waddell.
Dr. Rufus Wood, Jr. with Bay County Branch of the NAACP is a member of the Bay County Back to School Taskforce. He says several of those students have learning disabilities and they’re missing out on tutoring and after school programs.
“We’re also very much concerned about the mental well-being in terms of them having the counseling that is necessary,” said Wood.
Wood said many parents are also concerned about sending their kids back to school next year, especially if the pandemic is still going on.