Students in West Memphis return to in-person learning

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Students in West Memphis, Ark. are returning to in-person learning this morning for the second half of the school year.

Many schools across the Mid-South moved to virtual learning last year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Bottled water and hand sanitizer have become much-needed essentials for schools where in-person learning is happening.

Four black Greek-letter organizations helped students and staff at one school stay safe from the spread of the virus.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority delivered nearly 5,000 bottles of water and 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Maddux Elementary.

The school is facing what teacher one educator called a “year of adjustments.

“We have definitely been faced with challenges as far as our rotation schedule with classes,” Principal Kalisha Pitts said.

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Pitts said challenges include stretching the supplies of water and hand sanitizer the school received from the District.

“This was tremendous and extremely important,” Pitts said. “Our students aren’t able to use the water fountain like they normally would.”

Brian Didlake, of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, said the organizations wanted to give the kids water to drink throughout the day because hydration is critical.

Financial gifts used to purchase supplies also came from Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sororities.

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Yesterday, Arkansas health officials reported 233,475 total cases of COVID-19 in the state.