Learning pod leader talks getting COVID-19, different learning options for children

Natalie Baber is more sure than ever that learning pods are one of the safest options for student learning during the pandemic.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Less than 10 days until school starts and while teachers are getting ready to head back to class, some parents are making other plans.

Some are choosing ‘learning pods’ as an option to sending their kids back to school.

Natalie Baber is the creator of the Little Rock Learning Pods group on Facebook. Her child will do virtual learning provided by the school, and then she will meet with 6 other kids her age in a learning pod for help with schoolwork.

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While Baber said this is the most viable option for her child, this may not be for everyone. 

“It gets really expensive when you get down to needing to pay somebody to sit with your kids or rent a space,” Baber said. “With my pod we’ve had to have serious conversations about what is our budget, what can we do here?”

This choice for her child was reconfirmed when Baber experienced first hand why she made that decision. She became positive with COVID-19.

“We’ve taken every safety precaution. When I was at work, we always wore a mask indoors and outdoors. I limited my exposure, no friends over, and things like that and I still got it,” she said.

Baber added that the risks of sending a child back to the classroom should not outweigh someone’s life.

“I think our principals are working tirelessly trying to figure out how to make this work and there’s only so much that they can do, and I feel like this is the safest option for everybody.”

 For parents who need help with learning pod costs, Baber has set up a fundraiser. If you would like to donate, or are someone who needs assistance you can find that information here.

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