When the pandemic hit our nation, schools closed in March 2020 and students were forced to complete the rest of the school year virtually. But no one could have ever imagined that we would still face the same battle during the opening of the new academic year.

With so many challenges and much uncertainty, our children’s services outreach team had to find creative ways to meet the needs of schools and the community in the delivery of educational resources. Through much collaboration and brainstorming, they were able to find a safe way to get books into the hands of children in Title I schools through their First Books program. They also held virtual classroom visits by sharing story times and providing STEM activities to students in pre-K through second grades throughout the school year. In addition, they were able to hold virtual “Anytime is Learning Time” workshops for parents and professional development trainings for teachers.

Their most exciting resources, the literacy, STEM and environmental vans have all been parked at the station only to be used to deliver materials and books to schools. But recently, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the children's services outreach specialist drove the van to Cape Charles, VA, to hold a face-to-face, but socially distanced literacy van visit with kindergarten students at Kiptopeke Elementary School. During the visit, students had an opportunity to get the full literacy van program experience. They were able to listen to a fun story, sing songs and recite the reading pledge. The students then had a chance to view the inside of the beautifully decorated literacy van and receive a free book. It was a very exciting moment for the students and the teachers.

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Learn more about WHRO's educational resources for teachers and families