We’re all tired of dealing with the pandemic. Everywhere we look we’re reminded of the very big effect this microscopic virus continues to have on us and the world. We know the world of education is one of the hardest-hit. Whether the next few months will bring further restrictions or increasing freedoms is not yet known. What we do know is that we are called to be ready for ministry in every circumstance. What will it take to get students back on track–especially those who already struggle to learn without a pandemic to deal with? Before we can answer this question, we need to understand where the needs lie.
Amy Goodpaster is a special education teacher who knows all too well the kinds of learning gaps COVID is leaving in its wake. Though she teaches high school students, the problems her students face reflect those being felt at all levels:
- Loss of instructional time due to school closures, technology glitches, or adjusted scheduling
- Loss of special accommodations and modifications struggling students need to succeed
- Lack of accountability and limited support at home due to parents who are struggling themselves
In her estimation, students could lose up to a grade level of learning and she predicts that elementary students, whose foundational math and reading skills are at critical stages of development, may have an even harder time catching up. Not only that, but she sees, on a daily basis, the emotional toll these problems are having on her students. “Students weighed down by emotional stress aren’t ready to learn, so it’s critical that we address that need as well,” she says.
There’s no doubt a lot of educational ground has been lost. The good news is that, together, we can work to recover it. Consider this:
Your church is perfectly positioned to meet the growing educational needs in your community.
- Your church has the space–Imagine your building being used, not just for Sunday worship or your regular ministry programs, but to help a student living in your community be more successful in school.
- Your church has the volunteers–Imagine your members fulfilling their call to love their neighbor by showing a child they’re deserving of love and capable of learning.
- Your church has the heart–Imagine students and families in your neighborhood feeling the loving arms of the church around them when they don’t know where else to turn, being provided an emotionally safe place in which to learn that they will associate with God and His church.
While your church is perfectly positioned to meet this need, Oaks Learning is perfectly positioned to support you. We have tried-and-true programs for boosting student success as well as ongoing support for implementing them.
- Summer Academy*–A two-week summer academic readiness program designed to close learning gaps and prepare students for the upcoming school year.
- Beyond Tutoring*–A one-on-one after school tutoring/mentoring program that will reinforce essential learning skills and boost confidence.
- Oaks Learning Specialist–Someone who will walk through the process with you to ensure your initiative’s success.
As Goodpaster made clear, there is no shortage of need. Students must have academic and emotional support in order to move forward. This urgent educational need is also an invitation to make a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God. To learn more about our programs and how we can help your church adopt them, contact Oaks Learning Manager Julie Cordray at jcordray@seedtooakscom.
*Both Summer Academy and Beyond Tutoring can be operated on-site or modified to align with COVID safety protocols.