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‘It’s been crazy’: Families making virtual learning, full time jobs work

School’s in session and we’re learning how families are making this year work

2nd grader Ethan at the remote learning site at the West Center Center.
2nd grader Ethan at the remote learning site at the West Center Center. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – School’s in session and we’re learning how families are making this year work despite the challenges.

“It’s been crazy but we’ve managed to get through it,” said Neysha Melendez, a single mother of four with a routine to get everything done every day.

The morning starts with going over each child’s school schedule.

“It was a little stressful trying to figure out how the online learning was going to go. but I’m pretty computer savvy so I caught on to it pretty quick and tried to get the kids on it pretty quickly as well too,” said Melendez.

Then, they head off to the West End Center for school. It’s one of several remote learning sites for kids to go during the day while parents work.

“If it wasn’t for them to do that I probably wouldn’t know how I could have managed still working and still trying to be at home somehow to do the virtual learning,” said Melendez.

“Our job is to help our families, help our students in every way possible. Hopefully we’re doing that,” said Danny Britton, the West End Center program manager who also helps students log on and stay focused through the day. “They’re glad to be here, they’re glad to see their friends and they’re actually excited to do school work.”

“I’m having fun, going outside, doing fun things and doing activities,” said 2nd grader Ethan who enjoys the West End Center but said it’s hard to go to school online and would prefer to be there in person. “Because then I could make friends that I haven’t already met. We could really play together and have fun.”

“The children miss the classroom setting. I know they miss being able to interact with their friends but also their teachers. I really do hope they’re able to go back to the classroom,” said Melendez.

When they’re back in the classroom home life will settle down at night too for Melendez and her kids.

“When we get home is when I’ll log individually with each one of them and make sure the assignments were turned in,” said Melendez. “I know it’s crazy. Some of the kids are still learning how to navigate to turn in assignments, homework, things like that.”

Overall, Melendez says its going well. There have been some problems like internet issues but she doesn’t have any big complaints.


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