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Wake County Public Schools, Nonprofits To Make Academic Learning Centers For Young Students

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Ian Usher

A partnership between Wake County Public Schools, several nonprofits and local governments will provide childcare services for young students as school is set to begin remotely in less than two weeks, on Aug. 17.

The new initiative, called "Families and Schools Together," aims to provide safe academic environments for children during the work day, with the goal of making sure all families in Wake County have support for remote learning.

Established local childcare providers, like the YMCA of the Triangle, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Marbles Kids Museum will provide care.

Students in K-6 who sign up would be put into "pods" of ten students, paired with an adult facilitator. The group says it will limit the spread of COVID-19 by keeping children in the same pods and using social distancing in a large number of study rooms across the county.

Keith Poston with the WakeEd Partnership says he hopes they can help 10,000 students to begin with.

"Our goal in this initiative is that no family would be left behind because of cost," Poston said.

According to Poston, each space will have wifi and adhere to social distancing and health guidelines.

"It's not going to look like a cookie cutter approach across the board," Poston said. "But we're excited for what we think we can do."

Poston says a number of additional local governments and nonprofits are discussing getting involved, and may help expand the service up to eighth grade, or even high school.

Interested parties can learn more here:

Cole del Charco is an audio producer and writer based in Durham. He's made stories for public radio's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. Before joining Due South, he spent time as a freelance journalist, an education and daily news reporter for WUNC, and a podcast producer for WFAE in Charlotte.
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