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Virtual learning hub in Oakland helps underserved students during distance learning

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – A virtual learning hub in Oakland is helping its underserved students get ahead during distance learning.

After a summer program with live online classes in core academic subjects, the parent-led community group, The Oakland REACH, is now working to set students up for success in the fall.

“Our families are typically the families that are left behind. They’re typically the families that get the short end of the stick,” Lakisha Young said.

Executive director and co-founder of The Oakland REACH, Lakisha Young, says it’s time to change that and they’re doing it through a city-wide virtual hub.

The parent-led nonprofit began the summer with live online classes in core academic subjects, such as math and English language arts for K through 8 Oakland students in mostly low-income families.

Now, they’re working to bring the program to the fall.

“It’s clear we needed to plan for a complete shutdown of 2020. It was important for us to make sure our families, the ones that are at the lower performing schools, the families that are already trying to advocate for better education, that COVID wouldn’t knock us off our feet again,” Young said.

The aim is to keep their students on the right track, despite the struggles of distance learning.

The resources available reach farther than the virtual classroom.

The hub served nearly 200 students in the summer and set them up with Chromebooks, hotspots, and access for distance learning with Zoom and Google classroom.

Families also received stipends to participate in learning with their students over the five-week program.

“It’s an integration of parents’ academic learning needs and aspirations for their kids, along with the socioeconomic ones. We don’t want our parents to have to decide whether to pay the light bill or make sure their babies go to college,” Young said.

Young says the Virtual Hub Fall Program, scheduled to begin in September, will give students more live instruction and provide the continued support that families need.

“This is about family choice and family means. We see that we will in some cases be supporting in a supplemental way but in some cases, we may have to provide more full-scale core instruction,” Young said.

Families interested in getting involved can head to their WEBSITE.

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