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School Age Programs and Services Committee: Act Boldly! Working to Combat COVID Slide

Emily Nichols


While libraries look cautiously, but optimistically, toward a post-pandemic next chapter, it is important to focus on students and their families grappling with the consequences of nearly two years of isolation, remote schooling, hybrid learning models, and relentless change.

Studies already indicate that COVID slide is real, disproportionately impacting students in high-needs communities. Current forecasts suggest that the impact on children will vary according to geography, local politics, financial resources, the effects of structural racism, and population density. These factors, whose impact and import are already familiar to library leaders in rural, suburban, and urban settings, were thrown into sharp relief—and in many ways aggravated—by the pandemic.

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