For the 1.1 million public school students in New York City, life was upended when all classes were closed down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Now, in a never-before-attempted project, children with parents in the medical field have got a place to go during the day, while their parents go to work on the frontlines of the contagion.
The largest school state system in the United States set up “regional enrichment centers” where the 8,000 public school kids can do their school work at spaced-apart desks, eat three hot meals a day, and learn how to protect themselves from COVID-19.
The centers are not only taking in kids of hospital workers, the enrichment centers are helping children whose parents work in essential services, like utility departments, postal services, and grocery stores.
“We’ve never done something like this before,” Miranda Barbot, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education, told The New York Times. “We’ve made these centers available to thousands of families who need them.”
“They’re there for essential workers,” said NY City mayor Bill de Blasio. “So, here’s what it comes down to—so long as the essential worker, if they’ve got a better arrangement, that’s fine. We just need to support them to make sure they can show up and doing the lifesaving work they’re doing.”
In another move to support any of the city’s out-of-school students, the Department of Education is working with Apple to garner 300,000 iPads to lend out to students who don’t have access to an internet-enabled device for remote schooling which was slated to run from March 23rd to April 20th.
Parents who want to take advantage of the iPad borrowing service need only fill out a remote learning device application form on the NYC DOE website.