'It will take a village': New 'learning hub' program could help thousands of SF students with distance learning this fall

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As ABC7 News works to build a better Bay Area, the future of education and our schools is an issue we're watching daily.

With most Bay Area schools returning to distance learning this fall, San Francisco is taking a bold step to assist thousands of students and their parents who need it, with a new program where so called "learning hubs" will help kids succeed.

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"It was frustrating trying to teach my own kids. I want them to go back to school," said parent Davina Counte.

Counte says she is feeling stressed. She's concerned about her five kids tackling distance learning again this fall in San Francisco Public Schools, after a challenging spring and summer.

"You have a lot of kids in this district unfortunately who are so behind right now, who really needed that help," said Counte.

The city has heard those concerns and is launching an unprecedented educational assistance program- helping as many as six thousand students with distance learning needs.

This fall, dozens of rec centers, libraries and community centers across the city will be transformed into "learning hubs," where young students struggling with on-line classwork can go each school day to get support and assistance, in small groups with social distancing protocols.

"We'll be able to provide kids with some structure, physical activity, community mentorship, not all our kids have that," said SF Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

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Parent Matt Rizzo likes the program.

"It will help multiple types of families, like working families," said Rizzo.

Mayor London Breed supports the program.

"It will take a village to address the wide range of learning needs for our city's children and youth during the COVI-19 pandemic," she said in a statement.

"Any effort to bring them back to them getting the same effect as if they were in school really helps," said parent Danielle Rhodes.

Five recreation centers will also provide emergency child care for essential workers who qualify.

Registration for the learning hub program begins next month.

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