76ºF

14 Houston-area churches welcome about 800 HISD elementary students to virtual learning centers

Warm welcomes and excited children.

That’s how students enrolled in the landmark, Sanctuaries of Learning program began their first day of school in the Third Ward Tuesday.

As part of the program by the United Methodist Church, 14 different Houston-area churches have been converted into virtual learning centers so about 800 Houston Independent School District students will have a place to learn virtually while their parents go back to work.

“We are excited about this partnership and we think it’s an important way that we as a church can be part of the community”, said Bishop Scott Jones of the United Methodist Church.

Created specifically to help working parents by providing laptop computers, a powerful WiFi signal and even meals, the program completely free for the students in attendance.

Ursula Erskine is a single mother and a home healthcare worker who had nowhere to take her 10-year-old son, Latron, while she was working fulltime in the field.

That’s when she found out about Sanctuaries of Learning through her son’s elementary school.

“The principal let us know that there was this new program that would give my son a laptop computer, provide him with internet service and supervise him throughout the school day in a safe place. That place was the church and I was like ‘wow,’” Erskine said.

The program runs every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is set to last until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and students can return to the classroom safely.

HISD elementary school students are eligible for this program and to register, call your school office and ask for the Turn-Around Specialist.