Facebook group helping families with virtual learning during pandemic

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 22:22:32-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - While some families in Hampton Roads are waiting to see what the new school year will look like, others are preparing for a virtual start.

So far, across the Seven Cities, at least four school districts (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach) say they’re starting the new year virtually.

Jessica Perez-McCloud is preparing and has questions heading into the new year in Virginia Beach.

“I'm just wondering what school will actually look like,” Perez-McCloud said. “Everything is changing for us, and I just want it to be a positive experience.”

She created the 757 Virtual Learning Assistance Facebook group.

It’s a free resource where anyone can band together to help families with virtual learning across Hampton Roads.

“Even though people are working, those are the people that really need the help the most because they may not be able to dedicate that time to their children,” Perez-McCloud said.

Perez-McCloud told News 3 the group has members from as far as Florida to help families during the pandemic.

“Every core subject for every grade level, I made a post for people to volunteer,” she said. “They can look at people, message them as they need, or even just make a comment in the group.”

“We have people that have been teaching over 30 years that are willing to volunteer their time to assist any family that's in need,” Perez-McCloud added.

One person offering help in the group is Virginia Beach substitute teacher and former tutor Jazmin Sherard.

“I know how it feels to be in a situation where you're not sure how things are going to go,” Sherard said. “Me just offering my services, offering my time, it's just my way of just wanting to give back to the community in any way possible.”

Sarah Coleman will also be helping families in the group from across the Commonwealth as a school counselor in Loudon County.

“To be able to give the parents and the children tips on how to do test taking, and also be a piece of the mental health aspect of it as well,” Coleman said.

In one week, the group gained more than 4,000 members.

Related: Local teacher gives advice to help students be successful virtually

Perez-McCloud hopes many more families take up this resource to help navigate through the new year.

“It just goes to show that that's how much people are willing to help and how much assistance we think is going to be needed,” Perez-McCloud said. “If somebody wants to volunteer their time, they have the resource right there.”

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