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Immokalee teacher engages students through e-learning during pandemic

A teacher in Collier County is helping students feel more comfortable about online learning. She created a special room in her home in Immokalee to help students through long-distance learning. Her ideas and videos are gaining national attention.

Maria Salinas is a mom and teacher in Collier County, and she is finding a way to make e-learning fun and make students want to learn, all while orchestrating it from her home.

With schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic, Salinas had a good sense of what her students and their parents are going through, since learning must continue even with classrooms off limits.

“These kids need to keep going with what they’re learning, you know, extend it a little bit,” Salinas said. “Just because I know kids are scared. They don’t know when we’re going back to school. The parents are scared.”

Salinas posts her lessons online for everyone to see and follow.

Already, parents appreciate the attention and care she is providing for their children.

“Just want to thank her for taking the time,” mother Cynthia Topede said. “Bit less frustrating and more motivational for the kids. Thank you so much.”

And students give her an A for the effort she has put in for the success in their learning outside of school.

“Thank you for putting all this stuff on Canvas because, if not, I just would’ve been sitting on my Playstation, talking to my friends about what’s going on,” Christian Topede said.

Salinas told us teachers from around the country have reached out to her, asking to share her videos with their students.

Salinas appreciates how the community is working together to make sure her students stay engaged.

“The kids participate and post pictures or videos,” Salinas said. “And they got an entry and get to win a prize and these prizes have been donated by the Benison Center, so it’s been a really big help.”

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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