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Classrooms are moving into the community

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Learning is moving from the classroom into the community.

Students at Micro Society Elementary School walked from their class at school to another class setting, closer to their home.

A significant amount of pandemic-related learning loss happened in grades K-12.

“The last year and a half have been challenging and even this year with kids quarantined,” said Mandy Zipfel, learning loss coordinator for Jonesboro Public Schools.

On average, the majority of students are 5 months behind in math and behind 4 months in reading.

JPS started Cane Connect to help bridge that gap.

“We just wanted to provide something that was consistent and in the community and kids can just come and go as they need,” said Zipfel.

The program provides tutoring and activities for students after school, right in their neighborhood.

“My house is just right over there, so I walk sometimes,” said Yocelin Valdovinos, Cane Connect student.

Right now there are three locations open across Jonesboro: Parker Park, Huntington Church, and Word Baptist Church.

“We were listening, we were talking about nurses. They came over to talk about what they are doing,” said Valdovinos.

Monday through Thursday around 25 students go to each site. The district’s goal is to provide this program to at least 50 kids at each location

There are plans to add two more sites and even extend this program to the summer.

The program is free for select students. Parents can email Mandy Zipfel to get more information on how their child can participate.

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