WINDSOR, ONT. -- A local church and teachers at Marlborough Public School are going above and beyond to help its students during this extended period of virtual learning.

“Many of our kids at home don't have the resources, like access to crayons, pencils, those types of things that we would normally supply at the school,” says Ron Brown, principal of Marlborough Public School.

In order to ensure students don’t fall behind on learning, teachers have been putting together personalized learning packages. Items ranging from printed diagrams, supplies, to hands-on learning materials are all meant to help normalize the virtual classroom.Pickup bins

“Parents can come at any time to pick them up. We’ve been leaving them outside the school,” Ron says.

Gary Grosse, father to four children attending Marlborough says a teacher even delivered the learning packages straight to his front door.

"Thank you so much for your support and going the extra mile. The teachers are crossing the digital boundary and it's a very personalized approach.”

During pre-pandemic times, Windsor’s Exchange Church would hold a breakfast program at Marlborough school. When that program cancelled due to COVID, the church launched a fundraiser to provide over 700 reusable water bottles for students.Water bottle bags

“It was just amazing to bless that school at that time of the year,” says Drew Riach, lead pastor of Exchange Church.

The donations began to snowball. Eventually the church raised $57,000, which went towards fitting over 400 students with new winter coats this season.

“For some kids, especially our new Canadians, it may very well be the first coat they've ever really owned,” says Brown.Ron Brown

It’s these acts of kindness that help Brown navigate the uncertain school year, sharing his optimism, knowing better days are ahead.

“We're just hoping that we're all going to be back together sooner than later because truly you see the value of school. Don't give up hope, it's coming, we will be back together."