Thousands of California students use pandemic-shuttered classrooms for day camps and tutoring programs

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Kindergartner Jameson Miniex, 5, works with facilitator Kyle Fetter, left, and Star Education Director John Gaxiola inside his protective, learning pod at Eco Station in Culver City.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Kindergartner Jameson Miniex, 5, works with facilitator Kyle Fetter, left, and Star Education Director John Gaxiola inside his protective, learning pod at Eco Station in Culver City.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Five-year-old Jameson Miniex twisted his fingers into his curly hair, watching with rapt attention as a teacher in a blush-colored hijab read a book for the first day of school.

Around him, other Los Angeles Unified School District kindergartners scribbled their assignments and stretched their hands in the air, each working behind a clear plastic partition that is now as much a part of school’s visual lexicon as milk pints and chalkboards.

But these L.A. students aren’t back in school. Instead, they’ve joined thousands of youngsters who log into class from day camps and tutoring programs such as this one — many alongside their pre-COVID classmates, and some in the very classrooms that were shuttered by the pandemic.

“We were one of the first in the state to provide camps to the children of first responders,” said Sir Robinson, co-director of camps for STAR Education, the academic nonprofit that runs Jameson’s program and others like it around the state. “Now we’re acquiring new buildings and making sure they can hold the highest number of children as safely as possible.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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