More than 60 Guilford County schools open as internet hubs

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — 63 schools in the Guilford County School District opened up to students and their families Saturday morning for the first time in six months.

Each building has a temporary internet hub to help children who can’t connect at home or have questions about the canvas system. 

“I pulled a lot of hair out. I did,” Jalisa Pearson said.  

For nearly a month, Pearson struggled to help her daughter Aalaysia learn from home. 

“I didn’t know how to submit work. I had a hard time with that. Ahard time figuring out how to get on live,” Pearson explained. 

Aalaysia just started second grade at Gillespie Park Elementary. When administrators opened her school up Saturday to help families stay on track during remote learning, Pearson jumped at the opportunity.  

“When they came in, they were a little unsure of what today was going to be about,” said Lei Washington, Gillespie Park Principal.  

Pearson and her daughter were one of three families seeking help. From 9 a.m. to noon, Christopher Smith, a 3rd grade instructional assistant, answered questions and broke down lesson plans.  

“The way that the material is presented and the different strategies that the students have to learn to solve the problems,” Smith stated. 

To Smith, spending a few hours of his weekend helping families get caught up is worth it. 

“They left with a better understanding of how to navigate through the canvas. They had a better understanding of how to find their assignments as well,” Smith said. 

Right now 81.9% of Gillespie Park students have logged on to their online classes. The rest likely don’t have internet access. Principal Washington wants to see that total increase to 85% by next Saturday and 90% the following week.  

“We were able to touch the lives of kids who we might have lost. These things are about changing life’s outcomes for kids, and that investment in human capital makes all the difference,” Principal Washington stated. 

Pearson and her daughter plan to come back next weekend and are grateful for the resource.  

“It is a lot of help, and it’s better to do it here than at home because you don’t know what you’re doing,” Pearson said. 

Principal Washington told FOX8 that Crown Corporation recently donated $8,000 to the school to help them provide enough hotspots for all of their families to keep them on track this school year.  

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