At risk youth struggling during COVID-19 pandemic

At risk youth struggling during COVID-19 pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Students across are country are still being home schooled. However, some students living in poverty, having problems at home, or lacking technology and other resources are being hit hardest during this time.

“This disruption to education that consists in interaction with adult peers is really going to be detrimental to them upon their return,” said Dr. Alisa Leckie, Assistant Dean for Partnerships and Outreach at Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Alisa Leckie has worked with at risk youth since the beginning of her career.

She's the Co-Chair of the National Youth at Risk Conference and says at risk youth across the country are struggling.

“Not all of our students live in ideal home situations. There’s some stress and anxiety from being at home. And coming back to schools after an extended period of time is just going to increase some of those stresses and anxiety issues of our students.”

Dr. Leckie also says some college students are finding it hard to navigate school after leaving campus because they depend on campus resources to get their work done and complete their classes.

And in rural areas, students are facing similar problems with lack of technology and internet access.

“Our teachers and counselors are reaching out to the students to work with them and to figure out what access does this student have? Do they have access to even the telephone to reach out,” said Dr. Deborah Mangum, Executive Director of Student Support Services for Bulloch County Schools.

Dr. Deborah Mangum has worked with at risk youth for almost 30 years and says without the structure and routine school provides, students were not prepared for the transition to learn from home and may not have the support they need.

“Just being able to be that listening ear, some of our students don’t have that.”

Dr. Mangum also says the Bulloch County School System is providing physical packets of work and a newsletter on social and emotional learning to students.

And even though some students are struggling during this time, both Dr. Mangum and Dr. Leckie say they're proud of the work educators are doing to help them.

“We can get them some technology. We can make sure that they are fed. We can do our best to check in with them and we can make note of who’s not attending in classes so that when we do come back in the fall, we know who are first targets are. We know those students that we need to really intervene with first and quickly," said Leckie.

Learn more about how Bulloch County Schools and Georgia Southern are assisting students.

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