LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Stephanie Levinson’s students have faced many obstacles — even before the coronavirus pandemic forced them out of their schools.
All of her TK and kindergarten students qualify for free meals, and some are homeless.
“Even the majority of them, they might be in one little room, or in a mobile home or in a hotel room, but they’re all still showing up,” Levinson said.
But when her students showed up for class last week, the veteran teacher noticed something she did not anticipate.
“We noticed that they are shivering while they’re on Zoom,” she said. “They either have their blankets around them, they’re wearing multiple layers of clothing, their fingers are cold. They’re not used to the cold weather because in our classrooms we have heat.”
Levinson put together an Amazon wishlist for her 35 students, asking for things like blankets, hats and socks.
“I wouldn’t have thought of this a month ago,” she said. “It was 105 degrees and the kids were sweating and wearing tank tops.”
And the issue is not unique to Levinson’s class. Stacy Stewart, a kindergarten teacher at a Title I school in Pacoima, said her students have been struggling, too.
“They can’t focus if they’re cold,” she said. “They can’t focus if they’re not comfortable.”
So she started an Amazon wishlist, too.
“It truly hits you in the heart very, very deeply, because you would do anything for these students and their families,” she said.
Many of the families have also been hard-hit by the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“There is so much more than the internet we have to worry about for these kids,” Stewart said. “They need to feel secure, they need to feel safe, and I know that the families are doing their absolute best, but with the pandemic, financial struggles can make it really difficult.”
Priscilla Solis, who teaches special education, also made an Amazon wishlist to support her students.
“Now it’s just, we can see everything,” she said. “Seeing that they don’t have the luxury of a heater and have to be bundled up is very hard.”
And people are already coming through, purchasing items from the lists.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that there are so many people with kind hearts in this world that will do anything to help these kids,” Stewart said.
Along with items to keep the kids comfortable as temperatures drop, they have also added school supplies and gifts for stocking stuffers.
Links for lists are included below:
- Stephanie Levinson: Making Distance Learning Work
- Stacy Stewart: Stacy Stewart’s 2020 Kinder Class
- Frances Corral: Kinder Cuties
- Judith Barnett: Mrs. Barnett’s Second Grade In Reseda
- Kristen Beaton: Glenwood 3rd Grade — Room 31
- Jennifer Sperber: Classroom Needs
- Abigail Massey: Mrs. Massey’s Classroom Wish List
- Mrs. Krueger’s Kindergarten Class
- Mr. Beaton: Glenwood 4/5th Grade — Room 32