Hannah Wise Learning Hub temporarily closes after student contracts COVID-19


(Nancy Hoang)

By Nancy Hoang

A student at the Hannah Wise Learning Hub in Marin City tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 8, resulting in a shut-down of the hub until Oct. 19.

The Hannah Wise Learning Hub was created from a partnership between Wise Choices For Girls and The Hannah Project and is based in the Hannah Project building. The learning hub has been open since August, and provides a learning space with internet access, food, and tutors for high school students struggling with distance learning. 

The Hannah Wise Learning Hub is open to students needing internet access, food, and academic support while managing distance learning. (Nancy Hoang)

Site Coordinator Lea Mixon informed the staff on Oct. 8 that a student who no longer attended the hub contracted the virus. Although the student in question was not named, Mixon and the staff insisted that all students and tutors get tested. “We called parents, told students, sent out forms, emails to parents and students with information about when and where for testing,” Mixon said. Site administrators made the decision to close the hub and have students quarantine immediately. All of the tests came back negative.

 As a result of the Hannah Wise Learning Hub being shut down for approximately two weeks, students who regularly attended the center reported feeling unmotivated and having difficulty staying on task. Staff member Ayanna Morgan reached out to students via text with daily check-ins and morning affirmations to try to maintain the supportive relationship. “I would text the group chat and ask how they are doing in class and how they are doing mentally,” Morgan said. The hub also provided a Zoom link to meet with site coordinators and mentors if students needed extra help. 

Mixon reported several emails from Tam teachers informing them of learning hub students that weren’t making it to class and saying they hoped the hub would reopen soon. “They noticed that when students are not at the hub, they are unlikely to sign in,” Mixon said. Freshman Isaiah Owens expressed, “[I] was very sad that the hub shut down. I feel like I work better when attending the Hannah Wise Learning Hub.”

“My parents really liked the idea of the learning centers in Marin City. They were really bummed out that the hubs closed down. Not only can I not get help from my working parents, my wifi never wants to connect at my house,” an anonymous Tam senior said.

The learning hub has adopted new safety protocols since reopening on Oct. 19. Before entering, students must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. “Social distance is always a requirement and wearing a mask should be a top priority,” Bettie Hodges, executive director of the Hannah Project and an administrator at the Hannah Wise Learning Hub, said. 

“We are going to make sure we are properly washing our hands more thoroughly every time we touch something and try not to touch anything we don’t need to touch,” staff member Brajae Jones added. 

Students expressed gratitude for the ability to return to the learning hub. “I am so grateful that the hubs are open again because the staff who works there are people in my community and it creates a space of comfortability. They are very much relatable and they care about how you are doing in school,” sophomore Cincear Carpenter said.