DES MOINES, Iowa – A Metro mom is on a mission to help local students learn during the pandemic.
Aubrey Dooley opened up InsideOut Virtual Learning Support Center in October, after her family’s experience at the beginning of the pandemic.
“My kids really needed me to be helpful for them at home and to help teach them, and honestly just keep them engaged with their teachers,” Dooley said. “And I know other family members have kids the same elementary school age range so it kind of grew from there.”
It’s a place where students, ages 5 to 16, can bring in their devices and receive in-person support in a socially distanced space.
Right now InsideOut serves about 25 students, but there’s not more than 10 to 15 there at a time. Masks are required unless students are in their workstations. Dooley says they’re constantly cleaning, sanitizing, and watching symptoms in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
“I’m a little concerned that they’re sending kids back to hybrid or even full time in some cases, especially because the numbers are still rising,” Dooley said, “but I also understand that there is no good solution. That again is why we’re here is because you just need more options, because there is no one size fits all here. It’s a mess, and we have to figure out how to get through it together the best that we can.”
With so many unknowns across the different school districts, Dooley tells me this center is filling a need for teachers, students, and families.
“We’ve got to work, we’ve got to stay in the workforce,” Dooley explains. “Families have to be able to have that income. And if they don’t have somewhere where they feel safe sending their kids and they feel competent they’re going to receive the support they need, then the whole system is going to fall apart. So I’m hoping more places like this will open because we need them.”
It’s located at 2545 East Euclid Avenue Suite #3, just off the Euclid Avenue exit on I-235 right next to Walgreens.
InsideOut does have a flexible schedule, it’s open from as early as 6:00 a.m. to as late as 9:30 p.m.
There is a cost. Families can buy sessions for their students to come in and receive in person support. Those prices depend on how long each session is, $10 dollars for two and half hours and $20 for just under four hours.
For more information or to connect with InsideOut Virtual Learning Support Center, click here.