BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As thousands of students began their first day of school from home in Kern County Monday, several of the community's children started their distance learning from a shelter.
Twenty students filed into a classroom at the Bakersfield Homeless Center, sitting in chairs at socially distanced tables divided by plexiglass.
Providing a sense of normalcy while maximizing their learning is key for the trimester, according to the programs supervisor Marc Casica.
"We want to make sure that each child is getting their homework done, each activity is being completed, Casica said.
The shelter has a range of student grade levels, ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade.
Staff members who assisted part-time with what was supposed to be an after school program, are now full time employees, according to the center's Chief Executive Officer Luis Gill.
"If you're in first grade and you're sitting in front of a computer screen, it's really hard to stay focused and sometimes it's even hard to just use the mouse," Gill said, while underscoring the significance of staffing.
BHC intends to provide this opportunity to the shelter's students throughout the course of the distance learning school structure, but according to Gill, it comes at an expennce.
Gill said anyone that would like to contribute to the shelter's initiatives can do so by donating online.