Study Bubbles are proving to be bright lights in an otherwise dim school year for teens struggling to learn virtually. In partnership with the City of Gaithersburg and the Identity-run Wellness Centers at Gaithersburg and Watkins Mill High Schools, Study Bubbles at Bohrer Park and the Casey Community Center are providing 30 high schoolers who were facing significant barriers at home with individualized on-line learning stations, stable internet, enrichment activities, opportunities for community service and a supportive community of peers and trusted adults. Wellness Center partner 480 Club is working shoulder-to-shoulder with Identity to create a dynamic learning environment.

For some students, the Study Bubble offers much needed structure and motivation. “Coming to the Study Bubble everyday helps me start my school day. If I stayed home, I would play video games,” said one tenth grader.

Others appreciate the extra emotional support plus the chance to practice English and make new friends. As a testament to the power of this educational innovation, Study Bubble participants are improving their grades and attendance.

While recent reports confirm one of the biggest equity issues exacerbated by COVID-19 is the learning gap for Black, Brown and poor children and that a growing number of students are simply failing, Identity has always known it does not have to be this way. Study Bubbles are one way to create the conditions where students can find their motivation to succeed.