The return to in-person learning is a relief to many parents and students after what has been a very challenging year. Although the move will hopefully restore a sense of normalcy for many in our community, we know that classroom learning has forever been changed.

Schools are continuing to adapt to what has been a rollercoaster year in education. Whether it was the pivot to remote learning, a return for small cohorts to campus, or the preparations for a return to in-person learning with new safety protocols, the needs for keeping students safe while learning are continually changing.

In response, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation created the Student Fund-a-Need campaign to support SB Unified students’ most current critical needs. The campaign is currently raising funds for jackets to help keep students who don’t have their own warm and dry so that they can concentrate on their studies.

Students who have already returned to in-person learning are now in classrooms where windows and doors need to be left open with fans on to allow for airflow, and teachers are depending on outdoor spaces for teaching lessons while giving students space. Unfortunately, this means that classrooms are colder, and students are more exposed to the elements during the school day. Teachers find that some students do not own the warm clothing needed for the new classroom conditions.

And that’s where SBEF’s Student Fund-a-Need comes in. With the help of education advocates like Sara Miller McCune, SBEF is working to quickly get the jackets to school sites so that students can do their best in the classroom.

As SB Unified administrative staff continue to alert SBEF of new student needs, they will refocus the Student Fund-a-Need campaign to other rising needs for the most at-need students’ lives. According to Santa Barbara Education Foundation Executive Director Margie Yahyavi, “The Student Fund-a-Need campaign will not only allow us to quickly support the current needs of SB Unified students, but it will give us the flexibility to better support our students as future needs arise.”