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Take the Mic: An entire family weighs in on the pros and cons of online learning

Caliya Bullock
The Bird-Davis family from left to right: Kyle Jr., Kyle, Mikala, Kaiden, Nevaeh and Makiyah

As families adjust to distance learning, what’s the experience like for a parent? A teenager? A third grader?

Caliya Bullock, 16, decided to find out. She’s a junior at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines. As part of our Take the Mic youth voices project, Caliya reported and produced her own radio story. She interviewed her cousins, Kaiden, Kyle Jr., Nevaeh and Makiyah. Kaiden and Kyle attend Covington Elementary School and Nevaeh and Makiyah attend Kentwood High School.

They all have their own unique perspective on the experience of going to school online.

“Online school, you can’t see your friends,” said Kyle, 11. “You can’t see them in person and play games with them and play basketball and stuff.”

“As an older sibling, I have to help my younger siblings and it’s going to take away from my work time,” said Nevaeh, 15.

Caliya also interviewed her aunt and uncle, Mikala and Kyle Bird-Davis, about the pros and cons of remote school. They said it’s been tough, but in a way, it’s been positive for the family.

Credit Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX
Caliya Bullock is a 16-year-old junior at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines. She reported and produced this story for KNKX's Take the Mic project.

“Having them home more, we’re forced to communicate a lot more, working together, staying more as a family and a unit, practicing patience,” Kyle Bird-Davis said. “It just brought us closer together.”

Click on the audio above to hear the full piece. Caliya’s story is part of KNKX’s Take the Mic project, which aims to bring more stories from teens and kids to the airwaves.