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Sixth Ave Baptist Church partners with Birmingham City Schools to provide space for virtual learners

Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Sixth Avenue Baptist Church is working with Birmingham City Schools to provide a space for students to do their schoolwork while their parents are at work. The district started the year virtually.

The church plans to support students and families for however long the district remains virtual, which will be at least for the first 9 weeks of school.

Twenty-one students are enrolled in the free program. Kindergarten through seventh grade students are enrolled now. The partnership started back in March when schools initially shut down and the church worked with the district and Kickstart to help provide over 35,000 lunches for students.

When church leaders found out the district was starting virtually as a safety precaution, they felt this was another way to support the community. The church opened classrooms so parents can go to work and not have to worry about childcare and to support the district and students with virtual learning assignments.

“We feared that our students would slide further back. They’ve been out of school for some 6 months. We want them to be well supported, to stay on task with their assignments, to be able to catch and be where they are academically - be where they need to be academically,” said Leticia Watkins, Director of Children and Youth, Sixth Ave. Baptist Church.

In addition to Birmingham City School students, at least one Jefferson County School student is participating in the program.

The church is at capacity with students based on the number of teachers they have. Leaders are weighing options about opening more slots. The program is funded by the church and local sponsors.

If you’re interested in donating to sponsor a student, you’re asked to contact the church. You can email the Director Leticia Watkins at lwatkins@sixthavebaptist.org.

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