The Well: Supporting Pandemic Learning and the Community


Bailey Straub

As part of The Well’s community center, the virtual learning site for Downingtown students is set up with proper Covid-19 safety precautions in place.

Bailey Straub, Staff Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic left students in Downingtown without in-person schooling and little to no outside assistance. Luckily for Downingtown students from East Ward, Bradford Heights and the Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center, “The Well” in Downingtown was able to serve as a virtual learning site.

The Well is a former funeral home-turned community center in the middle of Downingtown next to Farmhouse Coffee. It was renovated by Hopewell Church and designed to serve as a community center for people in Downingtown. Throughout these uncertain times, Downingtown West students have been able to go to the Well and serve as mentors for the younger students while they do virtual schooling, providing support for the younger students as well as a meaningful volunteer opportunity for the older students.

Volunteer high school students have been able to work one-on-one with younger students to teach them everything they know about how to navigate Schoology, Zoom, and other programs. In addition to the academic support, student volunteers provide a fun, safe environment to make the younger students feel appreciated and taken care of.   The Well has worked diligently to provide a similar experience to school while also honoring COVID-19 safety precautions.

The relationships that the high school students have made with the younger students during this time are ones that both parties will cherish for years to come. The Well plans on expanding their program to more students and have a summer camp this year.

The success that The Well has achieved this year would not have been possible without help from all of the Downingtown students. Director of youth programming Amy Straub says, “The West students were imperative to getting our elementary and middle school virtual learning site up and running in August. When their schedules allowed, they came to coach these younger students through their virtual days by helping them with academics and tech needs. They also provided supervision during recess and lunch, etc. We could not have done it without them.”

For more information about The Well, including how you can get involved with volunteering, visit their website.