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Culver City Mom Calls On School District To Offer Free Learning Pods For All Students

CULVER CITY (CBSLA) — As school districts continue to prepare for an online fall semester, many parents are panicked and wondering how they will manage — especially those who cannot afford to pay for private tutors or to join a learning pod.

Dora Posner Wallace
Dora Posner Wallace is getting ready to start second grade at her Culver City USD school entirely online. (CBSLA)

To combat this, one Culver City mom is now asking her school district to do more for children like hers.

"I know they've been working incredibly hard," Miriam Posner said. "But all of that incredibly hard work is essentially wasted if there's no one who can sit with your kid. Even the best lesson is going to be wasted if the kid wanders away."

Posner's daughter Dora Posner Wallace will start second grade at El Marino Language Elementary School Wednesday, putting her mom in the impossible position of having to work from home as a professor at the University of California Los Angeles, take care of her 4-month-old son, David, and attempt to facilitate her daughter's education.

"It's been really hectic," Posner said. "I don't think it's super realistic to expect a kid my daughter's age to sit still and pay attention in front of a computer screen without any interaction."

Posner wants the fall semester to be less overwhelming than the spring semester was and has asked Culver City Unified School District to do more to support students.

"In this crisis, education needs to include providing for the needs of working families," she said.

And with districts across the country already doing what was once unthinkable, educating children without in-person instruction, Posner asked why making learning pods free to all children could not also happen.

"Create kind of a hub-and-spoke model where the teacher is the main educator, and then the spokes would be smaller pods of students distributed geographically and overseen by aides," she said.

As for finding space for that many small groups, Posner suggested they could be hosted at local libraries, parks, elder centers or any empty building not in use.

As teachers did during last year's Los Angeles Unified School District strike, Posner is now encouraging fellow parents to stand together.

"I would love to see families in solidarity say that this is not acceptable to us," Posner said. "It's a lot easier to provide equipment and a lot harder to provide the human care, and that care is what matters a lot more to kids."

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