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Education
In this summer-long radio series, West Virginia Public Broadcasting explored how the state is tackling the learning loss and social-emotional needs of students following the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Each week in summer 2021, WVPB shared a new story or conversation highlighting some of the top questions and concerns in education.

Elementary Students Share Pandemic Experiences In Education Series Finale

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This week, we conclude our summer education radio series “Closing the COVID Gap.”

For the past eleven weeks, education reporter Liz McCormick helped guide us through the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on our state’s education system. We talked with experts, teachers and parents about ways the state is tackling learning loss and the social-emotional needs of our kids.

For our series finale, we hear from a handful of elementary students from Berkeley and Jefferson counties who reached out to us to share their experiences during the pandemic.

We hear from 8-year-old Michael Sheehan in Berkeley County, 7-year-old Levi Jones and his 9-year-old brother London Jones from Jefferson County, 5-year-old Victoria Mobley from Berkeley County and 10-year-old Lucy Mitchell from Jefferson County.

Thoughts Shared By The Kids

“My name is Michael Sheehan. I'm 8 years old, and I'm going into first grade at Eagle School Intermediate in Berkeley County. I was in virtual [school]. They gave us our own iPads. I thought the math was a little easy, reading class was pretty fun, and hanging out with other people on virtual was kind of fun, too. I liked how we got to learn new things. Virtual wasn't really that hard. It was pretty strange, pretty fun, too. I don't really like masks, but I know that I have to wear one. School rules. And also my mom really wants me wearing one because my little brother had asthma when he was born.”

“My name is Levi Jones. I am 7 years old. I’m going into second grade at T.A. Lowery [Elementary]. My favorite thing is math. Virtual school was a little hard, because sometimes the speaker wouldn’t work, and like almost every time, my screen wouldn’t show. Going back in-person feels good. The thing I’m looking most forward to is seeing my friends.”

“My name is Victoria Mobley, and I’m 5 years old. I’m going to Rocky Knoll School in Martinsburg. I’m going into kindergarten. My favorite thing about school is the playground. My favorite subject is math. I'm excited about going to school in-person. I sometimes have to wear a mask, and it makes me feel comfortable. My butterfly mask is my favorite mask.”

“My name is London Jones. I am 9 years old, going into fourth grade at T.A. Lowery Elementary, Jefferson County. My favorite thing in school is art. I like art because we get to do fun crafts. I was in virtual last year and art was different, because we didn't really do any art on virtual. The thing that I know about the world and COVID is that it's finally coming back where we need to wear masks again. People aren't getting vaccinated. I'm tired of wearing masks because people won’t get vaccinated. This summer I did a math tutor, because on virtual I did not learn a lot of math. I'm actually pretty excited to go into fourth grade not doing virtual.”

“Hi, my name is Lucy Mitchell. I am 10 years old. I'm going into fifth grade, and I go to North Jefferson Elementary in Jefferson County. My favorite thing about school is mostly when me and my friends work on projects in school, and we present them together in class. Learning on the computer was hard, and if you couldn't understand something, you would have to join the Zoom, and then sometimes you wouldn't hear anything or your video was off. It was just complicated. Sometimes it was an asynchronous day where we just did work that our teacher assigned for us and not any Zoom, but sometimes it was on Zoom and work by ourselves. The type of schooling that I liked better was in-person. Even though it was hard with masks and stuff. It was still better to see people in real life than on a computer screen. I really missed in-person school when I didn't get to see my friends that much because of COVID. Sometimes last year, when we had to wear masks all the time, sometimes when I got in the car to go home, I forgot to take my mask off because I was so used to wearing it all the time. I feel safe. I feel like the masks will definitely help to keep the virus away. So just keep wearing them.”


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