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7th graders at a DC charter school learned to code in a month’s time. Now, they have an app that may help local students

The 7th graders at a DC charter school learned to code in a month’s time and developed apps addressing concerns they faced during the pandemic.

WASHINGTON — 50 D.C. middle schoolers have launched their own apps with lessons learned from the pandemic. 

The 7th graders at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Northeast learned to code in a month’s time and developed apps addressing concerns they faced during the pandemic like mental health, food insecurity and even boredom. 

The students, along with a team of teachers, launched their apps Monday, May 24th.  

“I’m thankful for my teachers for turning this pandemic into a learning lesson because that’s challenging as it is, turning something people fear into a learning experience,” said student Marcus Gibson.  

Marcus Gibson’s app focuses on mental health – family lessons learned through the lockdown.  

“We decided to start connecting more by doing activities at home going out to dinner having one on one with my mom to see where my head’s at and to see what she thinks,” he said.

“Once you see the strength in your kids you feel like, ‘hey I can do it too I can ask for help because as parents we take on the stress, but we don’t really ask for help,” added his mother Cherrell Gibson-Austin.

Sadie Delicheh hopes to help other kids who experienced the same struggles she did during the pandemic.  

“I had to go back and forth between each parent's house so that was stressful and being with my brother all the time and not being able to see my friends of go to school made me upset and sad because I was kind of lonely,” said Delicheh.

“Some students were experiencing food insecurity, so they developed an app to connect families to resources to get food,” said Science Teacher McKenzie Baecker.  

Baecker worked alongside the language arts teacher and inclusion specialist to help guide the students through their journey to healing and helping others cope with the challenges that lie ahead. 

“We hear a lot throughout the pandemic about learning loss but really it’s just learning differently and what we chose to do instead of shying away from the conversation. We leaned in to help students be part of the solution,” said Baecker.

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