BUCKEYE, Ariz. – School is starting up across Arizona, with almost all online learning for now, but farm owners in Buckeye decided to take education matters into their own hands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost any teacher will say that online learning is less than ideal. So farm owners in Buckeye decided they could do better by turning their farmhouse into a schoolhouse.
They bought some supplies, hired a teacher and went to work.
“On Wednesdays, were doing fun projects like painting with watercolors. I’ve never done that before. It’s interesting,” said student Giovanni Castro.
Two days a week, nine students of all ages are under one roof. They learn reading, writing and arithmetic, with time set aside for things art and cooking.
These students are mostly the children of farmhands who have parents both work and may not have internet access at home. Some may be learning English as a second language, as well.
Madison Harris was hired to teach the children, saying, “I was talking to one of the students the other day. He said, ‘Glad you’re here because if I was at home, I just wouldn’t know the answer to this.’ And so I think it’s good that they can come have a place where they can get support.”
This return to the old farmhouse school days was the idea of Carrie Mayfield and her husband. They were inspired after hearing a sermon on how the pandemic is a perfect time to turn lemons into lemonade.
“Such challenging times emotionally for people and financially and so we feel like this is something we could do,” said Carrie Mayfield of Sunbelt Transplants Farm.
Each day the farmhouse is sanitized and each student gets their temperature taken.
The Mayfield’s hope their farmhouse school inspires other people at homes, on farms or in other businesses, to find new ways to help others during the pandemic.