As coronavirus cases surge in her new city, the refugee wants to help her sons learn virtually, but she can’t read the lessons.
“I’m really worried for what my children are missing,” she said through a Swahili translator last week in her West Scranton apartment. “How can I explain to my children when I don’t know English?”
As virtual learning continues in much of northeast Pennsylvania, including the Scranton School District, families struggle with technology issues and child care and worry about children falling behind.
For the city’s refugee community and other families not fluent in English, the challenges are far greater.
“It is heartbreaking,” said Sonya Sarner, refugee immigration services program director for Catholic Social Services in Scranton. “I don’t know how to help them.”
The number of English learners — or those who speak a different language and are unable to communicate fluently in English — continues to grow in the Scranton School District. As of last week:
__ 9.3% of students, or 859, require English Learners (EL) services.
__ 25%, or 2,369 students, speak two or more languages and live in a home where the primary language is not English.
__ Students speak 52 languages other than English and come from 62 different countries.
The pandemic forced the financially strapped district to find new ways to communicate with families. Schools set up tables outside to show families how to turn on their laptops. Teachers and principals knock on doors to check on students. Staff continues to develop new ways to convey information.
“Obviously it’s not ideal,” said Maggie Cosgrove, EL program manager for the school district. “But, teachers are doing everything they can do to reach these students and learn their stories.”
As the sun sets in South Scranton, the bright light from a classroom illuminates the sidewalk on Cedar Avenue. Small flags hang from the walls inside, next to posters on English grammar rules.
Parents finish a page in their English workbooks, while their children receive help with virtual lessons. The pandemic initially forced all English classes offered by the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania online, but families needed in-person support.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Q&A: BITCOIN'S MASSIVE RISE AND WHAT COMES NEXT
The digital currency Bitcoin rocketed to a record high last week above $40,000 a coin.
VOLKSWAGEN TRIPLES ELECTRIC CAR SALES AHEAD OF CLIMATE RULES
Europe’s push into electric cars is gathering speed — despite the pandemic.
UK INVESTIGATES GOOGLE'S PLAN TO REVAMP CHROME BROWSER
Britain’s competition watchdog said it launched an investigation into Google’s plan to overhaul its ad data system over worries it could leave even less room for rivals in the online ad industry.
RACE ON: THE LINEUP FOR THE REVOLUTION OF THE CAR INDUSTRY
Wherever you are in the world, it’s hard to deny that 2020 was a challenging year - not least the automotive sector. With car sales plummeting amidst stay-at-home orders, consumers had a chance to reflect on their environmental impact, and as a result, electric vehicles are now more desirable than ever.
SOME UBER, LYFT DRIVERS SUE OVER CALIFORNIA BALLOT MEASURE
Drivers for app-based ride-hailing and delivery services filed a lawsuit to overturn a California ballot initiative that makes them independent contractors instead of employees eligible for benefits and job protections.
TARGET CONTINUES TO THRIVE IN WHIRLWIND RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
Target’s strong sales streak extended through a pandemic-shrouded holiday season after a hard push online and an increased effort to provide alternatives to customers who are trying to minimize risk.
TIKTOK TIGHTENS PRIVACY FEATURES FOR YOUNGER USERS
A month after federal regulators ordered it to disclose how its practices affect children and teenagers, TikTok is tightening its privacy practices for the under-18 crowd.
NEW MERCEDES SCREEN TO STRETCH NEARLY FULL WIDTH OF CAR
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a key interior component of its upcoming electric luxury sedan: a large, curved screen that sweeps across almost the entire width of the car in the place of a conventional dashboard.
ELECTRIC TRUCK MAKER HITS 100,000 ORDERS AHEAD OF FALL START
An upstart electric vehicle maker said that it now has more than 100,000 orders for its new pickup truck.
CHINA'S GEELY, BAIDU ANNOUNCE ELECTRIC CAR VENTURES
Chinese automaker Geely says it will form an electric car venture with tech giant Baidu, adding to a flurry of corporate tie-ups in the industry to share soaring technology development costs.
My Life as Rosie the Riveter
I have read about and seen many images about “Rosie the Riveter,” but my story is unique. I was a model with a rivet gun who worked at a factory, and my husband really did fly the very planes that I was advertising to encourage women to build during WW II.
Perpetual Motion Machine
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE REMAIN A FORCE FOR THE DISENFRANCHISED DESPITE A NEW DISGUISE