Learning Campus Faces Challenges Head On

Learning Campus is a program for migrant children to further enhance their studies, read and complete homework, and enjoy a different educational experience.

Learning Campus
Photo by Kieren Marshall

This semester has been tricky for Learning Campus as a plethora of setbacks has rocked the club and delayed progress. Perhaps the most notable setback is transportation. With funding becoming an issue and the absence of a reliable transport company to provide services, attendance is hampered along with the regularity of sessions. This is further emphasized as club coordinator, Jamie Burnett, exclaims, “Transportation is always going to be our issue.”

With the bus company from last year cancelling, staff officials transport the Learning Campus children. As it currently stands, the Learning Campus club is looking for alternative transport options to provide a more reliable and dependable service for the students. Due to the lack of transportation, Learning Campus can only offer services to 20 students rather than the 28 of last year; splitting attendance into two groups with one being on Tuesday afternoon and the other being on Thursday afternoon. The importance of transportation is imperative for the program and is essential, as Burnett proclaims, “If we don’t have transportation we don’t have a program.”

Another problem that seems to be lingering is the unstable income. Funding is not always readily available. The only reason why Learning Campus is succeeding is because of the reputation of the program. Burnett has been working tirelessly to attain grants and more stable income.

Co-President Ethan Kron ’20 hopes to see the club thrive and prosper through to next year, stating, “I’d like to see the club become more sustainable and able to grow as a club on campus after Jamie Burnett leaves.”

In addition, there have been concerns about the classroom space, which is becoming another issue for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, parent and family involvement has been an issue, with parents’ socioeconomic status and the language barrier, causing a problem with communication and participation.

Learning Campus playing games with children
Photo by Kieren Marshall

Despite these setbacks, Learning Campus has pushed forward, devising a revised system of groups on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to accommodate for the transport situation. Although funding is scarce, this semester has been more profitable for the club with a successful bake sale raising roughly $200. The club also received unexpected donations, bringing its overall tally to almost $1,000 this year. With these funds, Learning Campus provides the children with a free meal after their session in the dining hall, among other things. Moreover, the stability of the work study positions and Learning Campus club in general promotes student involvement which subsequently contributes to the sustainability of the program.

Kron mentions, “Learning Campus has made great strides. We have more tutors who attend weekly sessions, and the focus on one on one interaction between tutors and students has been wonderful.”

Even with these hindrances, Learning Campus is looking optimistic and hoping to thrive as Kron notes, “We’ve made great progress and I am more than optimistic about our future as a club.”

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