At Nugget, we believe every child is worthy of ample educational opportunities that help them grow and thrive. Unfortunately, this is not our current reality: structural racism, intergenerational poverty, and other injustices create significant personal and institutional barriers to success for entire communities across the U.S.
Here in North Carolina, with our local schools making plans for at-home learning due to COVID-19, we are concerned for and thinking of the students that are most impacted. Learning from home requires a consistent and designated place to study, access to support from adults who can help with schoolwork, daily food provisions, safe environments in which to move your body, and the ability to separate the stress of home and school. How, as a community, can we step up to create spaces for these children to learn as safely as possible?
One nonprofit near and dear to our hearts is working towards a solution. Student U is a local organization right in our backyard (Durham, NC) that uses the power of educational programming to build a more just and equitable community for low-income students and families. Student U is hoping to rapidly raise funds to convert the outdoor section of their learning center into the most safe and comfortable place for students and volunteers during this pandemic, and we hope this latest installment of Nugget Cover Club can help them do it. Here's what Student U had to say about the challenges they face entering this school year:
Durham Public Schools will open to traditional and year-round students on August 17 under Plan C with remote instruction only for all DPS students for the first quarter. We understand that we must be cautious during this pandemic to keep everyone safe and recognize that many children in our community will still need physical spaces outside of their homes to continue to learn.
At Student U, we are preparing to safely welcome students and families back to The W.G. Pearson Center as a way of being good neighbors and doing our part to support our community. Our Nuggets have always been a source of comfort and joy for our students while learning. We want that same comfort and joy to be accessible throughout The Center, and we are working diligently to create that space for students this fall. Before welcoming students back, we will be outfitting The Center to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and volunteers and creating innovative spaces to enhance students' learning experiences. This will require comfortable furniture for individualized work, art-filled hallways, space for play and movement, shaded outdoor structures, and an expansion of our outdoor garden.
To make this vision a reality, we hope to raise $75,000 to furnish The Center with comfortable seating, build multiple outdoor shaded structures, expand our community garden, purchase equipment for play and physical well-being, and commission local and student artists to bring color and life into our hallways. We hope you will join us in supporting our vision for a Durham where all students succeed.
Student U is a community organization that uses the power of education to build a just and equitable Durham. We empower and equip first-generation college students in Durham Public Schools, their families, and educators to become the leaders that will transform our city.
The W.G. Pearson Center is a multi-use space that houses organizations bound by our commitment to racial equity and justice in our community. Our partners are: Village of Wisdom, We are, Durham Children's Initiative, Book Harvest, BYP100, The Office on Youth, and Rebuild Fellowship.
Learn more about how school districts can meet the needs of students from low-income families. https://indyweek.com/news/durham/durham-public-schools-reopening-plan/