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Park Hill School District 5th grader shares virtual learning experience

Amina Kabuya shares virtual learning experience
Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 18:17:24-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For some fifth graders at Chinn Elementary in the Park Hill School district, classes are taught virtually.

Virtual learning has been a big change for everyone, including students, teachers and parents.

"I haven't been able to see my friends or my teachers," fifth grade student Amina Kabuya said.

She has seen her mom, though.

"The biggest adjustment is I see Amina Kubya all day every day! Which isn't a bad thing, but it is an adjustment," Amina's mom, Latrese Kabuya, said with a smile.

Thirty-one percent of student in the district are strictly virtual for the fall semester.

"I have used more technology tools that I have ever used in my life," Chinn Elementary teacher Kayla Benson said.

Amina said she was apprehensive at first, but her teacher, Mrs. Benson, has been there for her.

"I was kind of scared," Amina said. "I was nervous that I wasn't going to have the same connection online. But when she, even at my worst... even when I wasn't doing good in math... she has always supported me and she's helped me and she still has that connection, just as if we were in school."

Benson is only teaching online this semester.

"I never thought I would spend so long perfecting one slide," Benson said. "How can I be as clear as possible, efficient as possible for them? And so that's been a challenge and also making them feel a part of a community still can be hard to do, too."

Her effort doesn't go unnoticed.

"She's great. She sees us, she hears us, she shows up for us," Latrese Kabuya said. "I still can reach her, even though I'm virtual. Any time I email her, she's responding within minutes. So again, I feel a part of the community still."

And for Amina, it's the energy needed to start her day.

"She's always brightening up our days with her smile because some days when I'm coming in, we're kinda like a little sleepy," Amina said. "And her energy is just so good and we love it."

"I show up everyday for those kids," Benson said. "I mean just to see them in the morning, just to keep moving them forward, give them a light in the day, in the world, they give me joy."

The district keeps an updated COVID-19 dashboard with the number of cases and people in quarantine.