Orlando launches pods to help working parents as students learn virtually

The City of Orlando opened small group learning pods for students to take virtual classes. For some parents who can't stay home with their kids, the pods provide another option as the Orange County school year begins. 

The City of Orlando has opened learning pods at six different neighborhood community centers as Orange County's LaunchEd at Home begins Monday. Parents can drop off their children at the center for the day, while they go to work. 

"A lot of parents, they work, they don't have a place to leave them and they can't be alone at the house," said Grandparent Dalia Reveron. "I work I have a part-time job. His mother works at the hospital so for us, this is one of the best." 

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There are two learning pods at each center. There will be up to nine students and one instructor in each pod. Before walking into the center, students will have their temperature checked. Students are also required to wear a mask. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the learning pods are another option for parents who cannot afford childcare or to stay home. 

"A lot of kids don't have the ability or their parents don't the ability to stay home with them," said Mayor Dyer. "It will be a little bit different than the school environment because they'll be interacting with nine other students versus however many would be in a classroom. So it's a good third option for them." 

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The learning pods will be open through at least the first semester. If a parent is interested, please call one of the community centers below: 

  • Engelwood Neighborhood Center, 6123 La Costa Drive  
  • Northwest Neighborhood Center, 3955 WD Judge Drive 
  • John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center, 1002 West Carter Street 
  • Downtown Recreation Complex, 363 North Parramore Avenue 
  • Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center, 1723 Bruton Boulevard 
  • Rosemont Neighborhood Center, 4872 Rose Bay Drive