Charter school teachers & students rally to help their communities during COVID-19 crisis

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Screen Shot 2017 03 06 at 6.58.40 PMStand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.

No one could have imagined the many challenges that New Hampshire public schools would face this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. Despite these hardships charter school teachers, students and administrators rallied across the state to help others in this time of need. There are many examples of these exceptional efforts, please allow me to share just a few.

Alexa Cannon, a senior attending the Founders Academy Charter School in Manchester started a free service for those in her community who were unable to do their grocery shopping themselves due to the health risks associated with the virus. A gifted and passionate student, Alexa identified the need in her community and her compassion for others drove her to take action. To date Alexa has helped dozens of seniors who would have otherwise struggled to access some of the basic items that we all take for granted.

Charter schools across the state procured, produced and distributed critically needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local first responders, hospitals and clinics. One such school was Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2). With locations in Manchester and Keene, the MC2 Community raised and distributed 2,000 face masks, 2,000 bottles of Hand sanitizer, 2,000 hospital robes and 2,000 face shields to local first responders. When asked about this important work school leader Magdalana Correia-Foster said, “At MC2 we care about our community and saving lives!”

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There are many cases where a single teacher inspired entire schools to take action. Paul Trout for example is a sewing teacher at the Granite State Arts Academy in Salem. Ms. Trout, her students and her colleagues have been sewing and donating masks to local area hospitals, nursing homes and first responders since the outbreak began. To date the group has made and donated over 1,500 cloth masks to the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 in southern New Hampshire.

New Hampshire charter schools are independent public schools and they continue to demonstrate their worth to our state beyond giving their students a high-quality education. They share a common set of values which includes a deep commitment to their students, to our state and to the communities where they reside. New Hampshire should be proud of these little public schools.

Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Send your thoughtful prose on timely topics of interest to, subject line: The Soapbox.

Matt Southerton is President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

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