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Parents coming together on Facebook to help each other with remote learning

More than 2,000 people are seeking an alternative solution on newly formed Facebook page called “StL Area 20-21 Remote Learning Co-op Connection”

ST. LOUIS — From Belleville to Jefferson County, parents are feeling torn about back-to-school plans.

More than 2,000 people are seeking an alternative solution on newly formed Facebook page called “StL Area 20-21 Remote Learning Co-op Connection.”

The page connects metro area families who are interested in forming learning “pods” for their children.

Pods are made up of a small group of kids the same age, usually in the same school district and learning the same curriculum. The pod will then learn virtually together this fall when classes begin.

“They’re just looking for any way I think to make sure that their kids are getting, you know, the socio-emotional component of school without actually being physically present in school,” said Jody Woodward, mother of two children and the Facebook page creator.

The pod families agree to a set of health and safety guidelines they will adhere to 24/7 as the pandemic continues. This limits the pod’s exposure to coronavirus.

Woodward said some newly formed pods are agreeing to always wear masks in public and only interact with immediate family outside the pod.

As far as how the learning works, Woodward says it’s up to the individual pod. Some parents are each taking a weekday to supervise the learning. The children will go to a different home each day to learn. Other pods are strictly staying virtual and some are getting together to complete school projects or just to socialize.

“For those families who don't have a parent who can be there. I mean, that really is what prompted me to start the group. Those families need our help. We need to come together as a community to support all children and families in the community, not just worrying about ourselves,” said Woodward.

Almost 3,000 people joined the page in the first nine days after it was created by Woodward.

Teachers and therapists are offering services on the page as well to help with virtual learning.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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