I teach art at a Title I school that is 95% Latino and 5% Asian, with a rate of 68% English language learners. We are one of the largest elementary schools in the United States. A vast majority of my students live in the zip code which is the hardest hit area in NYC, with a count of over 3,000 reported COVID19 deaths, outpacing the next highest neighborhood by hundreds of cases. A significant number of our families are also undocumented immigrants who are unable to receive rent protection, stimulus checks or any other forms of government assistance. Some are also afraid to reach out for medical assistance because they fear deportation.
Students are unable to complete assignments with both their classroom teachers and me, their art teacher, due to a lack of supplies.
This is definitely taking a toll on the psychological health of both the children and their families.
An overwhelming majority of my students live in literally the neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID 19. Some do not have the most basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and erasers, and many students are not unable to complete assignments for art class. The ones who are able to work are quickly running out of art supplies, as this is an emotional lifeline for them. As students struggle to come to terms with illness, death, and the stress of living through this tragedy, they need a creative outlet to help them make sense of it all.
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