During the COVID-19 crisis Arizonans have seen many examples of neighbors helping neighbors, such as the work of two rural school districts.
That exactly what’s happening in southwestern Yavapai County, where two small, rural elementary school districts are networking and collaborating to ensure that students in their area have the nutrition and materials that they need to continue learning.
In mid-March when Governor Doug Ducey and State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced temporary closures, Kirkland Elementary School District and Skull Valley Elementary School District each established their own plans to meet student needs in the weeks ahead.
However, when statewide closure of schools for the rest of the school year was announced, the districts determined that collaboration would be the most efficient way to meet area needs for the long-haul and get meals, educational materials and computers into the hands of their students.
Combined the two districts enroll about 100 students.
In the first two weeks after the permanent closure was announced, the districts worked together to prepare and deliver 1,962 meals, according to Kirkland ESD Superintendent Michelle Perey.
In addition to meals for elementary-age students, the districts are making meals available to high school students who live in the area but attend high school in Prescott, which is 32 miles away from Kirkland.
Kirkland and Skull Valley teachers and support staff are using their personal vehicles and one smaller bus to make the deliveries.