Back to school

Like everyone else, we are anticipating the start of the school year. And like everyone else, we want to make sure that the children in our programs are able to learn and stay safe. As of now, Wissahickon School District anticipates going forward with a hybrid model in September, with at least partial distance learning continuing. We’re hoping some of you can help us make this experience a positive and supportive one for the children who live at Hope Gardens and Hope Forest.

In the spring we enhanced our WiFi coverage so that all our families could access free, fast internet from anywhere at Hope Gardens. Now, with virtual learning continuing for the foreseeable future, we are planning for the long term.

We’d like to create “learning pods” for the kids when they are learning at home—one group of older kids and one group of elementary age. Each pod would be approximately 5-7 children (depending on the mix of current residents and who elects to participate). We are recruiting volunteers to support the pods. The older kids’ pod would mostly need help with support for specifics, like solving a math problem or understanding a biology concept. Helpers with the younger pod would be more involved in keeping kids engaged and on task.

Learning pods would meet in large rooms where social distancing could be observed, and each pod would have two volunteers per shift. Volunteers would need to be able to commit to at least a two-hour shift, once per week, during the school day. If you’d like to help, please contact Sue Zomberg at or 215-606-3421.