Moms create group-learning system for kids during virtual school year

Virginia

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Two Fairfax mothers have created NoVa Dolphin Pods, a website where families can find individuals with the same interests and come together.

The idea came when Laura Velez and Laura Champe Mitchell realized that school was going to be online again this fall. Velez, a mother of two who has a full-time job, wanted a community where other parents in her situation could help one another.

“How cool would it be if I take care of a group of kids one day, and then another working parent does it another day so we can have four days where we can completely focus on our work, and we find a way to support the kids,” said Velez.

The duo put out a survey asking who would be interested. Within 36 hours, the survey had thousands of replies from families in Fairfax. The survey said that, besides wanting a place for their kids to go so parents can work, the families also wanted pods so that their children could socialize or focus specifically on academics.

In addition to interested families, the pair were also overwhelmed with parents volunteering to host a pod for a day or translate the website to accommodate multiple languages.

“Everybody is really looking for ways to help one another, and I think that’s what’s making it so positive,” said Champe Mitchell.

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