Local businesses stepping up to help with the struggles of remote learning


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–This time last year classrooms were crowded with kids, but as we all know things are different in 2020. Many school districts across the Cape Fear opted for remote learning to begin the year, which has been difficult on both children and their parents.

Businesses and churches saw the need for support in the community, leading them to open their doors to provide space and direction for remote learning.

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“The curriculum is already done, so it’s really just a matter of logistics,”says Port City Community Church Lead Pastor Mike Ashcraft. “That includes making sure you have enough adults and volunteers to help each child to do it safely. We have to do it in a way that’s going to give the parents a break and really help the kids get the most out of the opportunity they have.”

That is exactly what the Wilmington community has done. Anita Harrells owns Fitness Motivation in Wilmington and like most gyms they have been hit hard by covid-19. So, she decided with the extra space and her background in education it was match made in heaven to provide a classroom like environment for kids at the gym.

“We just figured how can we help the community and help our fellow parents and teachers,”says Harrell. “We just figured out a way to turn the space into a little micro school and let them do their remote learning from here.”

The organizations hope this is only the beginning as they look for more businesses to get on board with the idea of supporting Cape Fear families in a different way.

“Our goal I would say is to try to help other places set up places like this,”Ashcraft says. “All of our volunteers are background checked here, so we can kind of manage that. We’re going to help spread that out and see if we can create more capacity at other places that may be more convenient for people.”

They plan to keep offering the remote learning options as long as there is still a need in the community.