Because Vanessa Ignacio, OMS II, A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), loves working with children, she was excited to spend the coming months working as a reading tutor in the Kirksville, Missouri, community.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ignacio read to local children at the Adair County Public Library on Saturday mornings. As health and safety concerns grew and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to recommend social distancing measures, the library temporarily closed, ending the traditional tutoring sessions.
“This is an important period of a child’s education where reading is so important,” Ignacio said. “Part of the reading process is listening and exposing them to new reading material.”
Working with a local elementary school, Faith Lutheran School, Ignacio modified the tutoring program. She will continue to read to students and help them with key reading skills using web-based technology.
By continuing to interact with students online, Ignacio is hopeful they will continue to learn without feeling isolated while social distancing.
“I want the students to know that this isn’t the time to put everything on pause, but to take a new outlook,” Ignacio said. “The most rewarding part of my role is just knowing that I will be interacting and hopefully teaching something to the students.”