LaToya Benberry, director of Kids Company Too at McNabb Elementary, was part of citizen research team of school stakeholders who were charged by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence with co-designing a study to amplify the voices of Kentucky teachers and families navigating the COVID-19 crisis. The attached opinion piece by Prichard Committee volunteers, LaToya Benberry, Spandana Pavuluri, and Christina Trosper, follows. To see the complete report, click "Read More". - W. Walden
Add to Kentucky’s groundswell of education influencers some innovative, if earnest, laypeople.
We are part of a citizen research team of school stakeholders. We call ourselves the “Intergen 9”, and we comprise three parents, three teachers, and three students representing eight districts across the Commonwealth, including five people of color. We were charged by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence with co-designing a study to amplify the voices of Kentucky teachers and families navigating the COVID-19 crisis. And we were inspired by high school researchers from the Committee’s Student Voice Team.
We developed our Coping with COVID Teacher and Family Survey in the late summer and disseminated it widely through our family and teacher networks in the weeks leading up to and including the start of the new school year. We also conducted peer interviews with teachers and parents and targeted African Americans, parents of children with special needs, lower income families, grandparents raising grandchildren, and others who were underrepresented in our survey results. And we learned a lot.
Despite the politics around COVID-19, for many Kentucky teachers and families, the concern around safety is grounded in reality. Of the 2,068 people from 111 of Kentucky’s 120 counties who responded to our survey, 32% of teachers and 21% of parents said they personally know someone who has died from the disease. And 42% of teachers and 25% of parents said they consider themselves at high risk for developing complications from COVID-19 themselves.