NEWARK– The school system is now bringing the classroom to the community thanks to two new mobile learning units.
Worcester County Public Schools this month unveiled its two new Worcester on Wheels recreational vehicles. Area residents will likely see the brightly colored RVs making stops in neighborhoods and at community events as educators make an effort to reach families outside the school building.
“The services we offer at school are not located just in our building,” said Pocomoke High School Principal Jenifer Rayne. “We will come to them. We will do whatever it takes to bring positive relationships and access to services needed in order for students to be successful.”
In 2021, Worcester County Public Schools was the recipient of a $1 million grant from the state. The grant, part of the state’s Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, was one of several awarded to school systems demonstrating unique strategies to address academic accessibility. The school system used the funding to purchase two customized 31-foot recreational vehicles that would allow educators in Snow Hill and Pocomoke to visit students in their neighborhoods.
Though it took a year to get the vehicles because of parts being backordered, the school system debuted the RVs this month. Rayne said that outreach, which started at community events even before the vehicles had arrived, has really picked up now. The vehicles were used during a community tour for new teachers, have distributed school supplies to students and have been parked at community get-togethers such as Fourth Friday. The vehicles were even on display at teacher kickoff meetings so educators could see what the RVs had to offer.
Rayne said the vehicles feature a kitchen table, seating for up to 10 people, and a mobile library. They have a built-in barbecue grill and a supply of mobile hotspots to provide internet access. They’ll be able to be present at community events, visit students at home and offer regular off-campus services, such as tutoring, literacy events and pop-up giveaways.
“It’s a way to engage families in their own neighborhoods,” Rayne said. “We want to work with community partners so families don’t necessary have to come to school to get support from the school.”