School district, local nonprofit team up to help students who ‘need a place to go’

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local nonprofit and the Waco ISD are teaming up to help homeless teenage students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cove is a place high school age Waco ISD students can turn to for all kinds of help including basic necessities like food and showers, washer and dryers to clean their clothes and mental health care.

The Cove also provide tutors for students after-school and now during the day as COVID-19 has left some students learning virtually and at times with little notice.

WISD unexpectedly closed University High School, Waco High School, the Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy and the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy for two weeks, starting Oct. 8 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Cove Executive Director Kelly Atkinson says the school district is working with her organization to do the best they can.

“Our school districts are doing their best to support every single youth that comes through their doors and the constraints their facing are unbelievable,” she said.

“So we’re trying to partner with the district and looking to partner with more because we know there are more youth out there that need a place to go.”

Atkinson says student enrollment nationwide is down because of the pandemic, a story she says is no different locally.

In an effort to help, The Cove is canvassing neighborhoods and other areas they hope to find students and get them back to learning.

“We have really changed our methods,” Atkinson said.

“We have two vans that have The Cove logo on the side and we’re taking those vans out with fliers to places like the skate park and the Dewey Recreational Center and the YMCA and just posting them anywhere we think teenagers may be gathering.”

Atkinson is also part of a coalition meeting to address the issue called “Our Community, Our Future.”

She said she is proud of all the many helping hands doing what they can to help with an ever-widening gap in learning.

“Unfortunately, the gaps are widening right due to COVID and we’re doing our very best just to adapt and let young people know that we’re out there.”

The efforts are supported by

The COVE accepts financial donations to support its efforts.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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