Learning center

Nevada County Fairgrounds transformed into a distance learning center – CBS Sacramento

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – Most parents face distance learning dilemmas on a daily basis, but in rural areas the issues can be even greater if students struggle to find a good internet connection.

Kat Coaker, senior at Nevada Union High School, knows firsthand the challenges of living in a digital world, including when it comes to her classes.

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“You think your senior year is going to be the best and then it’s like that,” Coaker said.

His school was recently referred to full distance education as a COVID cases are on the rise in the county. She said learning has become even more difficult. The wifi in her house is just not reliable enough for her and her two brothers.

“Sharing that internet at home doesn’t work at all,” Coaker said. “I would be missing most of the lessons, which is not good.”

Concerns like these, when connections aren’t strong, are what prompted a network of organizations in the Nevada County area to bond. The nonprofit Bright Futures for Youth has partnered with the county and Nevada County Fairgrounds to create a distance education center in the heart of Grass Valley.

“It has been such a difficult time,” said Cori Ove, Youth Hub site coordinator. “It’s a great example when communities come together and collaborate, you can do great things. “

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The center offers free internet connection and supervision for students during the school day. It also opens the fairgrounds to locals for recreation, such as walking or cycling. Fairgrounds nationwide have struggled with little to no activity during the pandemic. Patrick Eidman, CEO of Nevada County Fairgrounds, said the project gives them a goal.

“It’s really going to allow us to step up in a way we’re used to,” Eidman said. “Serve the community and respond to a critical community need. “

The Youth Hub can work with up to 40 children at a time, but at the moment it only serves a handful. While more and more districts are discussing returning to a full home schedule, that could change.

“I expect to see our numbers increase,” Ove said.

With room for growth, it is hoped that more students like Coaker can take advantage in the battle against bad broadband.

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The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools said 80% of the population in a particular district did not have a reliable internet. The county has invested $ 450,000 in the project and supervisors believe the money has been well spent.

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