Virtual learning has been the topic of discussion on social media lately and in Mercer County one Facebook post led to action.
“When we got word that Mercer County was faced with virtual learning we were concerned,” said Jill Cutler, executive director of the Mercer Chamber of Commerce. “We posted asking what could we do to help and we received fast and serious responses.”
From that Facebook post a collaboration was established.
“Immediately Amy Matthews and Tracy Mundy reached out to help,” said Cutler. “We had a quick meeting and determined gathering resources to address the issues was most important. We also pulled together a larger meeting with more collaborators.
The issues the organizations defined were internet and broadband capacity, tutors and sitters, mental health services, funding for internet and safe venues to house students.
“At the larger meeting churches who expressed interest, Mercer Transformation, Community Tutoring Initiative, Children and Family Counseling Associates, Burgin and Mercer Schools among others, gathered to talk solutions,” said Cutler. “The chamber was grateful to have Mayor Freeman donate the Lions Community Center for two hours.”
The collaboration of major organizations decided resource hubs on all major organization websites was needed according to Cutler.
“It was decided that a hub of resources was needed that could be accessed at any time, by anyone. The chamber website, each school, the library and the Extension Office and Interagency will all have this information on their sites,” said Cutler. “Our hope is that this will be a living, breathing resource page changing as often as is necessary. We are so proud of our community that within minutes, the call to help in Mercer was answered.”
Many local organizations offered to be tutoring sites or help with wifi. Cutler said more will join as the collaboration grows. As of this week the list consists of:
• Ellers Memorial Church will offer tutoring on site.
• Mercer County Schools will offer limited access to students who need help. They are limited to 15 percent of capacity.
• Little Zion Church in Burgin
• Burgin Baptist Church
• Burgin Fire Department
• Salvisa Fire Department
• Cornishville Fire Department
• Dixville Fire Department
• Mercer County Public Library
• Mercer School busses will provide hot spots at designated areas
• Bluegrass Community Action has offered help in purchasing wifi.
“Many churches and other organizations are working to establish safe tutoring locations as well as hot spots,” said Cutler. “We will release the information as soon as it becomes available.
For more information visit the chamber website at mercerchamber.com.