Nanaimo parents scramble to buy educational supplies before they are sold out

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WatchSchool districts plan to give parents directions within days on how K-12 distance learning will be rolled out across BC in the wake of the COVID-19 school closures. 

Morgan Philip broke into a run Tuesday to pick up her new workbooks set outside a Nanaimo education supply store.

“Well I like the challenge,” said Morgan, a Grade 3 student.

“We just came and picked up some workbooks today,” said Morgan’s mom, Carrie Philip, who is also a teacher.

“Morgan’s been missing the pen and paper aspect of school.”

The Grade 3 student is one of over half a million K-12 learners in B.C., whose in-classroom learning has been suspended by the province to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As school districts work out this week how to best deliver distance learning to students through this, parents are scrambling to get educational supplies before they run out.

Orders are now coming into Nanaimo’s Kool & Child from as far away as Kentucky.

“My phone’s been binging with Facebook requests,” said Kool & Child employee Christle Lowe.

“Our phone has been ringing off the hook. There’s internet orders coming in. I’m so grateful because it means that we get to stay open.”

“Parents are desperate to keep their children working and learning,” said Kool & Child’s owner Carolyn Kool.

Mother of two Allison McFadyen said she is still figuring out how she’s going to home school her two boys and work from home at the same time.

“The whole thing I don’t really know how it’s going to work. I don’t,” said McFadyen.

Teacher and mother, Carrie Philip said it’s natural to feel that anxiety, but with increasing online resources being made available free to students at this time, she’s urging parents to take it a day at a time.

“Take it easy,” said Philip.

“We’re going to do the best we can. That’s all we can do.”

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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