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With Shelby County Schools closed another week, what about childcare, food, and educational resources?

“Even from a state representative at the state level, we are not prepared," said Tennessee State Rep. Antonio Parkinson.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While state and county official work to get a handle on the coronavirus outbreak in our area, there has been a domino effect on families in our community.  

After Shelby County Schools decided to extend Spring Break, many parents have found themselves in a serious bind.  

Here is the bottom line.  

Even from a state representative at the state level, we are not prepared. We have been honestly caught behind the eight ball," said Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson.  

Now, we are playing catch up and residents know it.  

It's a total readjustment. I think everybody was prepared for the spring break, but I don't think we were prepared for the whole thing," said Lilian Collevattiviti, a Shelby County School parent.

RELATED: Six municipal school districts have added another week to spring break due to coronavirus concerns

RELATED: Facts not Fear: What Tennesseans should know about COVID-19

With Shelby County Schools closed an extra week because of COVID-19, parents are at a loss when it comes to childcare.

Collevattiviti said, I don't feel like we're getting much of the help and support that we need. Here are your children. Keep them home until the end of the month....and then what?"  

That is more than 100,000 students to which 70% come from low-income families making $10,000 or less.  

"We are expecting some of our daycares to start closing any time now if they haven't closed already. Those children or small children will have to be somewhere," said Parkinson.

'We need to make sure that we're able to provide food for our babies. We need to make sure that we're able to provide some type of educational assistance for our babies," said Stephanie Love, Shelby County School Board Member.  

County leaders are looking into virtual learning for teaching and options for providing food.  

Love said, "We currently do have food, but the question is how much food do we have. How long will it take us to run out of food?...It's not on Shelby County Schools. We're going to do our part because that's what we do." 

“In a way, we have to look at it as a community thing. It's a village type situation," said Jason Freeman, another parent.  

Some parents aren’t waiting on the county. They are taking matters into their own hands.  

"I'm here at the library today to see if I can find something for them after the break because I don't want them to fall behind," said Collevattiviti. 

"It's a little tough because we have to figure out, my wife and I have to figure out what we're going to do as far as him and his sister for that extra week. Even that one week is hard enough," said Freeman.

Some parents said they tried reaching out to the School District.  

"They were not prepared for that. Nobody got back to me," said Collevattiviti. 

Local 24 News found many parents coming to the library to make their own lesson plans.  

"I was concerned about the math and the English and the academics for the children. I have more than one child in the school," said Collevattiviti. 

Still, the school district is working to make sure students do not get behind.  

 "It's incumbent upon the State of Tennessee to make sure all of our families have materials available and resources available, so that as an educational system, we can continue to provide those resources," said Love.  "We know this is a problem and we're not going to wait. We're going to put a plan in place now." 

Local 24 News also reached out to the Boys and Girls Club of Memphis. They said they are closed until March 27th, but they are working to create virtual options for kids.  

The Kroc Center will continue their activities for children and have opened their enrollment for Spring Break Camp for another week. 



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