M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends of the Children mentors met individually with local children and teens. During the pandemic, these meetings have transitioned to virtual formats.

For months now, students across the Pacific Northwest have adjusted to remote learning under the stay-at-home orders issued in response to COVID-19. While online learning has been a platform for significant innovation in this time, it also comes with notable limitations, particularly for students already disposed to academic challenges.

The students mentored through Friends of the Children Seattle fit this profile, being from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and at a statistically high risk for continuing the cycle of poverty in their own lives. Often lacking strong parental presence or family resources to support an ideal learning environment, especially under the requirement of technology-based learning, these students face the largest obstacles to academic success in the time of the Coronavirus.

Friends of the Children Seattle has persisted in advocacy of these youth, ensuring continued mentorship to reinforce social and emotional support at a pivotal time by adapting to the virtual platforms of today. Each mentor-mentee pair has arranged a different solution to continuing the relationship amid the crisis. In a recent article published by the organization, one pair of friends conducts daily phone calls for homework help and tutoring. This supplement to at-home learning is bridging the gap for students and families, helping children engage in the virtual classroom strongly and progress in material that will prepare them for the future. 

Most of all, Friends of the Children Seattle provides just that – a friend to children in Seattle. The invested adult mentors offer companionship, guidance, and affirmation that mitigates the academic backsliding and feelings of isolation that might otherwise occur for students facing the compounded challenges of schooling in a pandemic. Groups like Friends of the Children Seattle continue to serve the Pacific Northwest in innovative and necessary ways during these unprecedented times, and we are grateful for their creative contributions to the common good.

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