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Arkansas Virtual Academy students read to nursing home residents

The students at Arkansas Virtual Academy are helping give those in nursing homes something to smile about.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — This pandemic means one thing for a lot of people – loneliness. That is especially true for those in nursing homes who are not able to see their loved ones.

Thankfully, the students at Arkansas Virtual Academy are helping give them something to smile about.

“We’ve been able to go into different nursing homes and do crafts and read stories, but now, with the coronavirus, we have had to get a little bit more creative,” said Principal Jessica Stack.

Arkansas Virtual Academy (ARVA) Principal Jessica Stack came up with a unique way to have her students connect with those who are alone during this difficult time while also encouraging reading.

“We decided to make this YouTube channel where the kids can read these stories and then we were able to share the link with nursing homes,” said Stack.

That is how the ARVA Reads YouTube channel was born. Stack said the students pick a book, hit record and start to read.

“It was great to see their little personalities come alive as they are showing their books,” said Stack.

Tristan Smith, 8, picked one of his favorites, The Trouble with Trouble. For the 5th-grader, whose grandma is in a nursing home right now, it's a fun way for him to show he cares.

"I wanted to help elderly and nursing homes,” said Tristan.

Stack said while she knows it means so much to the nursing home residents, she believes it is just as meaningful for her students.

“They see those stories on the news of all these families that have to be away from their relatives in the nursing home so we are just glad that we can share this with them,” said Stack.

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