NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The COVID-19 quarantine has not stopped Anna’s Place NOLA, proving that the “little church that could” is still providing much-needed food for Treme residents via its Food Pantry and continuing its groundbreaking after-school program, ensuring all of its students have access to a computer.
Over the past 3 weeks, Anna’s Place has given laptops and iPads to every student in its program who did not have access to technology, working with the child’s school and parents to continue instruction and even deliver instructional packets when necessary.
“When quarantine was mandated we worried that many of our students would fall behind,” said Brianna Carr, Anna’s Place NOLA Director.
“We really miss our kids and the technology also allows us to keep them participating in our programs.”
Anna’s Place NOLA offers up to 50 Treme area kids, ages 5-18, music lessons, story times, Business Club for teens, and homework help, as well as weekly contests with prizes. Recent challenges have included a COVID-19 Essay Contest, Make Your Bed Challenge, and Tik Tok Challenge.
“Anna’s Place NOLA has always been a safe haven for our community children to learn, play and feel at home,”said The Very Rev. Bill Terry, Rector, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church. “Our goal is to try as hard as we can to provide that continued sense of stability and nurturing. Most of our kids are below the poverty line and the added stress of COVID makes our programs more needed than ever.”
Anna’s Place NOLA serves more than 23,000 families in the area by encouraging safe, healthy and fulfilling activities, Ms. Carr said. Children who participate in the after-school programs have shown an average 30 percent improvement in reading skills, and up to 75 percent improvement in STEM subjects.
Each year, Anna’s Place also serves 16,200 meals, and provides 1,500 homeless individuals with “blessing bags” of personal care items; numerous area households living below the poverty line are assisted with monthly groceries.
“Our community family has always invested love into the Treme,” said Ms. Carr.