Service Learners adapt to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions

Spotlight on: Midlo Service Learning


Midlo Service Learners work on ways to serve the community during the pandemic.

During class, Midlothian High School Service Learning students usually travel to J. B. Watkins Elementary, Swift Creek Elementary, Old Hundred Elementary, Midlothian Middle, or Tomahawk Creek Middle to experience hands-on education in the classroom, allowing juniors and seniors to learn through assisting teaching younger students. However, during the pandemic, which made student travel impossible, Mrs. Jackie Tully decided to adapt and re-imagine the Service Learning program to fit the online school model.

What was your initial reaction when you found out that service learning would be virtual?

As soon as it became apparent that we would begin the year virtually, I began to contact my mentor teachers at our feeder schools, asking if they still would participate, and they met the challenge with grace. After a brief moment of panic, I took a breath and started re-imagining how my service learners could continue to serve our community schools, even during a pandemic.

How did you restructure your Service Learning lessons to accommodate virtual learning?

My service learners meet once a week virtually with their mentor teachers’ classes, and each week, we create videos, such as: book read-alouds, brain breaks, and essential skills for the teachers to use in their classrooms. On Mondays and Tuesdays, we watch and discuss a TED Ed video during class, and on the first of each month, students read and respond to a TED Ed blog. We continue to find ways for the Service Learning program to serve virtually.

What is your favorite thing about teaching Service Learning?

I LOVE working with these bright, talented young people who have hearts to serve. They are an absolute joy. My favorite part of teaching the class occurs each time a former service learner graduates to full-time teacher. Ms. Pfund actually was a student in Mrs. Krievs’ Service Learning class here at Midlo!

How have your students reacted to participating in Service Learning virtually?

They have faced this bump in the road like warriors. I am so proud of them. Each day, they fill my screen with smiles and are fully willing to do whatever it takes to help our mentor teachers and their students. They have worked hard to create some incredibly entertaining and fun videos; their enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. I am so lucky to have them.

To see how the Midlo Service Learning students are striving to make a difference, view senior Madelyn Venable’s video, Brain Break Yoga.