IntegrateNYC is a student-led nonprofit in New York City that advocates for meaningful education reform. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, they launched a hotline for young people to call or text in order to get information and support. It’s a phenomenal achievement. I had the pleasure of talking with their leadership on Extra Help with Inside Schools recently.

Toward the end of the interview, I asked if there was anything more that parents and teachers should be considering as our city copes with the pandemic. High School Executive Director, Leanne Nunes, had this insightful remark to share about schools.

"I think one of the more harmful things that’s happening [is] around remote learning….is this sense that we just need to keep working like it’s business as usual, which is very much not the case. This is a public health crisis. A lot of people are sick. There have been a lot of people who have died, and that number will continue to rise because the healthcare system is overwhelmed. There’s a lot of youth who themselves are sick or have family that are sick, or friends. It’s very stressful and overwhelming in this time, but could also potentially be filled with a lot of grief [for students]."

Nunes goes on to say that schools need to remember the realities, and to exercise more compassion and empathy as they assign work. Listen to the entire fascinating interview over on our podcast channel here. And share this post with a young person in your life who might benefit from knowing there is a hotline out there where they can get help.

I’d love to hear what you think of the hotline, including how else we can be supporting young people. Tell me over in the COMMENTS.