Springfield churches offer learning pods during virtual learning

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 7:13 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Tuesday is the first day of virtual learning for students in the Springfield Public School District. That will continue through Friday as the district continues to see a high number of Covid-19 cases and other illnesses among staff members. So, two Springfield churches are offering “learning pods,” to help parents who can’t stay home with their kids.

Learning pods are a fairly new concept. The pods consist of small groups of students who undergo virtual learning under the supervision of a hired teacher or volunteer. Parents brought the concept to Springfield in 2020, while schools were shut down for weeks and months. And now, they’re making a comeback. King’s Way United Methodist Church and Fellowship Bible Church are both offering learning pods for students this week.

“We didn’t want families to have to make the decision between, ‘Do I lose my job? Do I have to take time off work, or educate my children?’” said Scott Bons, Pastor at King’s Way United Methodist Church. “We support the school district in what they’re doing and what they had to do. But we wanted to help families that really found themselves in not really having a choice.”

One point of contention within the idea of learning pods stems from safety, and the higher likelihood to spread Covid-19 among students who are participating. Bons says safety is a number one priority.

“We continue to require masking and we are going to be very strong in our social distancing with children and just trying to keep them separated as much as possible,” explains Bons. “But still maintaining those healthy social interactions that are so important in these years and ages.”

The service is being offered at no charge at King’s Way United Methodist -- where between 20 and 25 students will be participating. A $20 fee per student per day is charged at Fellowship Bible Church to cover costs. The church does offer a scholarship program for struggling parents who want their children to participate.

“We want to provide an environment that’s as conducive to learning as we can,” says Justin Stringer, Pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church. “We feel like the facility in fellowship family support school gives us the opportunity to help out our community we love.”

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