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JCPS teachers, organizations form NTI camps to help students through virtual learning

Teachers and large organizations are coming together in a creative way to make sure students don’t fall behind during Non-Traditional Instruction.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 7:56 PM EDT
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We've heard the words "virtual school" a lot lately. More districts are turning to that option...
We've heard the words "virtual school" a lot lately. More districts are turning to that option when school starts back in a few weeks. So, what does that really look like?(WBRC)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Teachers and large organizations are coming together in a creative way to make sure students don’t fall behind during non-traditional instruction this school year.

Anthony Richardson, founder and executive director of Inside the Lines Training Inc. and a JCPS teacher, has teamed up with the group I’d Rather Be Reading to create an NTI educational camp. Together, teachers will guide students through online coursework, in small, in-person groups.

"When JCPS made a decision to do NTI, it was a no-brainer for us to create something where students can still get what they need and also still be as safe as possible during these times," Richardson said.

During the two, three-hour sessions, students will receive a meal, then split off into small groups to either work on NTI assignments or participate in reading and math exercises guided by teachers and education students. Richardson will even provide Google Chromebooks to students who may need one, all while following CDC safety guidelines.

“Sometimes the kids don’t understand what they need to grow, and being that entity to provide something that is necessary that they’ve been missing since March 13, it’s heartwarming and that’s why we started these programs,” Richardson said.

With many school districts already announcing they’re going back to non-traditional instruction, more help is popping up for parents.

Ashley Dearinger, CEO of I’d Rather be Reading, said teachers also will support students’ emotional well-being by encouraging them to speak up about problems they may be facing.

“Being the wrap-around support for teachers and families because everyone has had to do so much to adjust to what the new (form of) education looks like,” Dearinger said.

The camp is part of a larger effort to make sure students don't fall behind during virtual learning.

The YMCA of Greater Louisville will start a program of its own on Aug. 24. CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville, Steve Tarver, told WAVE 3 News that more than 600 students from Jefferson and Bullitt counties already have registered for the all-day virtual learning care program.

“The YMCA and other organizations are going to be very critical in, No. 1, supporting the workforce, and, No. 2, supporting student academic progress and minimizing the regression that can happen, particularly to our most vulnerable students,” Tarver said.

Both the YMCA of Greater Louisville and the NTI Educational Camp need more staff and teachers to help guide the small learning groups.

For information about applying for, or enrolling a student in the YMCA virtual program, click here.

For information about applying for, or enrolling a student in the NTI Education Camp, click here.

The group is also looking for more community sponsors in order to offer free enrollment.

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