More than ever, people understand that our schools and colleges feed our students, help their families deal with economic and social needs, and support entire communities. Schools and colleges will reopen and when they do, students deserve to come back to a more equitable, safe and dynamic learning environment.
We have promised to never forget the sacrifices our health care professionals are making during the COVID-19 pandemic. And we shouldn't. They are saving our lives and putting their own on the line in the process.
Remote learning has brought into stark relief the difference between those with the means to access digital tools and connectivity and those without. It's now the difference between having an education and missing one entirely.
Making the full, necessary investment in our schools and other institutions extends beyond the basic services they provide. It is also an investment that would ensure the health and well-being of children, families and communities.
We're Doing Our Jobs.
Our Lawmakers Need To Do Theirs.
"We are now doing four bus runs per day, making and delivering meals to 436 students and their families. That’s half our student population. My members are also cleaning buildings every day, creating and delivering homework packets and helping teachers prepare lessons."
~ Cheryl Rockhill, School bus monitor, transportation assistant, Brushton-Moira School District
"We have stayed ‘connected’ by any means necessary. We check on mental health, wellness, nutrition, physical, emotional and academic progress. The pause was extended, and we did what we do best, we adjusted, we modified, we collaborated — we found SUCCESS. We did what we always do … Teach."
~ Maria Toepfer, First Grade Teacher, Winchester Elementary School, West Seneca
"We have all been affected by COVID-19 and school districts are one of the best lines of defense when the family system struggles. My mission, as a school social worker, remains the same regardless of how the world changes – ensure our youth develop the skills necessary to manage mental/emotional challenges, advocate equity for all and remain an allied strength within the family structure."
~Marvin Horne, Licensed Master Social Worker, North Colonie Central School District
"I had a conversation with some teens right after schools were closed. They had a lot of questions about the virus. As I thought about their feelings, I found myself thinking about the lack of resources for teens online regarding COVID-19. We came up with a campaign and a website that would highlight what teens are doing to stay safe and also to create and find ways to connect with each other and continue to build community."
~ Thea MacFawn, Founder, Capital Region Institute for Human Rights & We-can-together.com