PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - When it comes to the classroom, kids have dealt with a lot of change through this pandemic.
A group of moms say they found a way to offer a different kind of learning for kids, through what are called "micro-schools."
President Janelle Wood with The Black Mothers Forum, Inc. said her group started micro-schools to create a safe and supportive learning environments for kids K-8.
"It became clear to us in 2019 after many conversations with our school partners that they really did not understand how to create a safe and supportive learning environment for our black children," said Wood.
She said the micro-schools are made up of 5 to 10 students. The kids go to a classroom 25 hours a week and are taught by what's called a learning guide. "These particular models take more of a group homeschool approach with the feel of the Montessori where the children have autonomy to grow at their own speed and to master their materials at their own pace," Wood.
By next week, she said the group will have 11 classrooms throughout the Valley in spaces like churches and non-profits. Classes are taught by learning guides with many of them former teachers. They don't need a degree, but Wood said they go through training and use an online curriculum.
She calls it a safer environment during the pandemic since classes are small, and there's a lot of space to social distance. "We've actually gained in enrollment, due to the pandemic because of the up and down, ebbs and flows in the traditional system, people want steady," said Wood.
She said their micro-schools are free and funded through donations. All kids are welcome. Registration is still open. You can learn more about the group's micro-schools here.