WATERVILLE, Maine — According to the Maine Department of Education, there are almost 180,000 students back home these days. This 'new normal' for students in the school districts here in Maine is at least until April 27 due to COVID-19.

For students to better cope with remote learning, teachers across the state are doing what they can to keep their students busy during the day.

Gretchen Lane, also known as Mrs. Lane by her students, is a second-grade teacher at the George J. Mitchell School in Waterville.

Mrs. Lane records herself reading a new book every single day, loads the video on YouTube and shares it on her Facebook page so that parents of her second graders can show their kids a daily story-time.

"I had a brand new stack of books that were donated at the beginning of the school year that I hadn't have a chance to read yet, and I packaged those all up and brought them home with the intention to read to them every day," said Mrs. Lane.

In her 15 years teaching Ms. Lane has never had to do distance learning before, she says although parents and kids are enjoying their extra time together, it has been challenging for students and their parents.

"For a lot of the resources, not everyone has a laptop or a computer at home..most of them have cellphones, that's why I decided to do the read-alongs," said Mrs. Lane.

A unique experience for the kids at home... exactly where they will be through at least April 27.

"Taking her time for us to read a book to us? I think that's really special," said one of the second graders.

"I think if we just look at the interest of our students or our own kids, what their desires are and what they want to learn about, then there will be a whole lot of learning taking place in everybody's homes," said Mrs. Lane.

It's teachers like Mrs. Lane that are making the schooling back home a little easier these days!

Remember that there are meal bags being distributed all throughout the state 

Click here for a complete list of places in the state where you can pick these meals up.

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