WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The coronavirus crisis canceled so many things, including a local non-profit’s popular giveback to the community.
Despite that, the organization is finding ways to contribute. It’s a little gift from United Way of Wyoming Valley with a potentially very big impact.
About two dozen children in a Wilkes-Barre neighborhood received summer fun learning packs containing crayons, pencils and colorful chalk for kids like Adeliza Crich.
“I like the chalk,” said 6-year-old Crich.
“This is one of a couple hundred Acts of Caring that will happen between now and Sunday,” said President and CEO United Way of the Wyoming Valley Bill Jones.
This individual Act of Caring replaces this United Way chapter’s three decade traditional Day of Caring which became a coronavirus casualty.
“They are using those school supplies along with a workbook that we provided to them,” said Jones.
It helps, in part, to make up for lost classroom time when schools were shuttered three months for pandemic precautions.
“I miss drawing with my teachers,” said Crich.
Just a week earlier, United Way of Wyoming Valley distributed 5,900 special workbooks for families of kindergarten through second grade students in five local school districts.
“There’s at least a little bit of guidance and help to go with instead of just assuming or trying to put something together ourselves, it’s nice to have,” said Amanda Crich, Adeliza’s Mom.
“The research is very clear that students can regress in their learning over the course of summer,” said Jones.
It’s called the “summer slide” which is worsened by all that lost pandemic-related class time. While cyber learning works for many families, others may not have internet access which makes these workbooks so valuable.
11-year-old Adam Sharif uses it to help his 8-year-old sister, Aishaa, overcome struggles learning math.
Helping fill an educational void for some young learners because, as the shirts read, “COVID Can’t Beat Caring”. The materials distributed by United Way of Wyoming Valley are made possible through the COVID-19 response fund.