#KnoxPod reading room gives virtual learners a break

Nov 9, 2020 | by Brad Rowland

#KnoxPod reading room gives virtual learners a break

By: David Ibata

The Salvation Army in Knoxville, Tennessee, has unveiled a new addition to its Knoxville Learning Pod for children enrolled in digital learning: a colorful reading room, with books and kid-size tables and lounge chairs to enhance the daily experience of going to school at the corps.

The reading room occupies a space formerly used to store program resources and occasionally for corps activities, said Major Sarah Nelson. She and her husband, Captain Daniel Nelson, serve as Knoxville area commanders.

“The reading room was established to give the students a place to spend their breaks between classes, with the hope of giving them a place to relax, but not lose their focus for the school day,” Major Nelson said.

Four rooms that had been used as meeting spaces for corps activities and Sunday school have been set aside for 10 young people enrolled Monday through Friday in #KnoxPod: the reading room; one classroom for elementary and middle school students; another classroom for high schoolers; and a kitchen. All the spaces are in the corps building attached to area command.

"If you walk through the hall in the corps today (a Wednesday), it’s amazing to see how the place is buzzing!" Major Nelson said. "We had adults in Bible study, students learning online, and staff and University of Tennessee volunteers close by to tutor.”

The Learning Pod was made possible by $116,000 allocated to the Knoxville Command by the state of Tennessee out of its funding under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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