COVID-19 Guest Blog: Maintaining Support Without Physical Classrooms

Author: Sarah Brinson
School Social Worker, New Hanover County Schools

As the days have turned into weeks, and the weeks have turned into months, School Social Workers throughout the county have been working hard to overcome a number of unique challenges we never thought we’d have to face. For all of us, our work in schools has always revolved around building relationships. Whether the relationship is with a student, their family, their teachers, or with the community agencies that work to serve them, the focus of these relationships is always the same- to support the social, emotional, and academic growth of our students.

The challenge now is how do we maintain this support without our physical classrooms, our hallways, our offices? How do we stay connected to our students and their families in this critical time for student well-being? While it hasn’t been easy, and certainly there is no one “right” way to do this, there are a number of ways we’re continuing to build on the work we’ve already done….and it’s working!

Reaching out to families and keeping the lines of communication open has never been more important. Many of our students are faced with levels of worry, fear, and loneliness like they’ve never felt before. Some of our families are faced with financial, housing, and health crises they never imagined would come their way. Whether by phone call, text, email, or good old fashioned snail mail, making and keeping contact with our students and families is crucial…and it’s working!

We’re also reaching out and looking for our community helpers (thank you Mr. Rogers!) and ensuring our students and families know where to find them. In the very first days of schools being shut down, our teachers worked tirelessly to find out what our students needed and how we could fill that need. Time after time our families shared the need for food. And just like so many times before, Nourish NC has stepped up and stepped in to help schools help families… and it’s working! Although our school buildings are closed, our connections remain strong. Our schools and community agencies are coming together and working side by side to support our students in and beyond the walls of our school buildings…. and it’s working!

Sarah Brinson,
School Social Worker, New Hanover County Schools









**Editor’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual, nor to NourishNC.**

Our vision is to be anywhere and everywhere hungry kids need us

NourishNC has three strategic programs specifically designed to provide nutritious food to hungry children in our community.

Click here to learn more about our Backpack Program

Backpack Program

The Backpack Program provides food insecure children, pre-K through 5th grade, with three nutritious meals a day, every weekend, and over every school break.

Click here to learn more about Market On Market program

Market On Market

The Market on Market (The MoM) is a full-service grocery store where food insecure children, pre-K through 12th grade, and their families can shop to choose the food that is best for them.

Click here to learn more about our Food Farmacy program

Food Farmacy

The Food Farmacy Program provides non-perishable and fresh food items through partner organizations such as schools, pediatrician offices, and other nonprofits.