VOA Today: How Louisville's Homeless Children are Learning Amid COVID-19

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 8-year-old girl was still in her cherry-print pajamas when the lesson began.

A laptop open before her, she cradled her chin in her palms, watching as a zany professor in a lab coat demonstrated how to make slime.

“Today is science class,” she said, her soft voice competing with the constant din rumbling from a nearby closet. (These days, the fan inside is always on. Stale air is now a threat.)

Seated alone at a circular cafeteria table, the girl briefly pulled her mask down — just far enough to slurp from a pouch of applesauce — before quickly tugging it back up.

Through the cafeteria’s west-facing windows, a monotonous rain foretold another day stuck inside the old school that now serves as a shelter for homeless families. She hadn’t seen actual recess, or her friends, in months. Field trips, end-of-year projects and goodbye hugs — the COVID-19 pandemic had stolen those, too.

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