Eva Leung

It has been such a pleasure to see members returning back to the gym, like seeing long lost friends. All our lives have been affected by the pandemic and some more than others. I had a chance to visit with Eva Leung to learn that she has been reaching out to her elementary school students from low income and immigrant families to make sure they were getting their homework and essential needs met. Here's what she's been up to.

Eva, tell us where you teach and how you and your friends were able to help your students.

Yes, I work with middle school and high school students at Seattle World School. We are a newcomer school, which supports newly arrived students and their families in the greater Seattle area. We also support students and families wanting extra support in learning academic English. I teach math and now that school has started up again, we are gathering school materials for our students. A few of our students' national backgrounds are: China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Honduras, Rwanda, Somalia, and Vietnam.

Now that school is back in session via remotely, how is the Bach-to -school atmosphere different?

It has been challenging to reach all our students and their guardians or families. Due to the student population that we work with, some phone numbers and addresses have changed due to family and or financial situations. Also, some phone numbers are not working anymore. All the teachers and staff care so deeply for our students and are passionate in supporting them during this pandemic as best we can. Luckily, we have community-based organizations that support our students and teachers. Kandelia (https://www.kandelia.org/) is a non-profit who has been vital in delivering food and rental assistance to our students' families in need. Also, the Seattle World School Fund (https://www.swsfund.org/) is helping with food, rent, and bills for our families. There is still a strong need and any support is greatly appreciated!!

What do you anticipate being some challenges students will face in our new virtual learning?

The equity divide is apparent. Even with providing WiFi hotspots, these hotspot Internet strengths cannot handle more than one device connected to it. Also, the use of laptops, e-mails, and typing are mostly skills valued in the U.S. and majority of our students and families are learning to navigate this technology. Many teachers and students wish we could be in the classroom to give handshakes, fist bumps, and high fives because their cultures value physical greetings. It is challenging to go remotely where we cannot do this and it is not safe because of COVID-19.

We are needing to find ways to deal with the new stresses in this COVID-19 world. What are you doing to manage this?
I am so grateful to be a part of Fremont Health Club!! Even though at times I am not as consistent as I want to be with coming to the gym, I know it is a space where I can always go to work out and unwind. I am very privileged to be able to go to our neighborhood gym and take time for myself from the long days of never-ending phone calls, video call meetings, and e-mails.