Parents create ‘pods’ to help kids learn virtually


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Children and parents are experiencing the challenges of school during the pandemic.

Some people are creating their own classroom, grouping their kids together to learn safely.

“I didn’t know what decision to make at the time,” said Loni Crumb, a Pitt County parent. “The numbers were not going down, and schools were opening.”

Crumb wasn’t sure whether to send her child back to school in-person or to stick with the virtual option.

“What is as important to me as academics is social, emotional learning, development, and interaction,” said Crumb.

Crumb and a few other parents decided to come together to form what’s now called a pod.

The pod allows parents to work while their kids learn.

“Our kids play with each other,” said Crumb. “We’re doing the washing, social distancing anyway, so how about we learn together?”

Other moms say the set-up is ideal.

“They’re happy to be able to be with some friends and have some normalcy,” said Joni Brown, another Pitt County.

Kids come to an office space everyday.

They get their temperatures checked, and slather on the hand sanitizer.

After that, it’s time to log into class.

“My favorite part would be not having to wear a mask all day,” said Garrett Taylor a 4th grader.

His classmate, Phillip Crumb, says when he wears his mask too long, his ears start to hurt.

The parents hired a teacher to help the kids when needed.

“She’s used to being with a lot of different kids, but she’s also used to working with different grade levels,” said Brown.

Moms say anyone can set up their own pod.

“It can happen in Bertie, Martin, Edgecombe, Nash, even Wake,” said Crumb. “It can happen as long as you have like-minded people, kids who really want to learn, and we know our kids really want to learn, and socially interact.”

Pod parents also say this set-up wouldn’t work without Pitt County teachers working hard to put together virtual lessons for kids.

The group is going to continue with the pod through December, and see where COVID cases stand after the holiday break.

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