Learning Pods link teachers, students and parents to be sure kids are succeeding in school.

Learning Pods link teachers, students and parents to be sure kids are succeeding in school. (Courtesy photo)

Workzones, a coworking office club in Santa Barbara‘s Paseo Nuevo Mall, has partnered with Just Communities to sponsor spring Learning Pods supporting Adelante Charter School. The sponsorship coincides with the eight-year anniversary of locally owned and operated Workzones.

“Just Communities launched Learning Pods to support students and families with remote instruction and distance learning in the fall of 2020,” said Karen Hernandez, program operations manager.

“In creating a community-based learning model, we are able to directly provide support to Santa Barbara and Goleta’s most vulnerable students and families at zero cost to them,” she said.

“Through this project we have been a bridge between the school district and Adelante Charter School with local families who are facing economic challenges, and are currently unable to access childcare, private tutoring, or assist with online learning,” Hernandez said.

“Our program leaders connect with teachers, principals and parents to ensure Learning Pod participants are connecting, engaging and retaining. As schools reopened under a hybrid model in March, we were faced with the unprecedented challenge of finding a new location to host the Learning Pods,” she said.

“We are so grateful that Pam Tanase reached out to Just Communities, who offered a free space for the Learning Pods at Workzones.” Hernandez said. “Through this opportunity, the Learning Pods can continue to operate for families with zero disruption to student learning.

“Together with educators, families, and community businesses, such as Workzones, our efforts have helped boost the morale of students who need an encouraging and safe place to learn. Thank you Workzones and Pam Tanase.”

“When we read about the Learning Pods program last winter, we immediately reached out to Just Communities to offer our space,“ said Tanase, former educator and coach, and Workzones co-founder.

“With in-person business meetings paused during the pandemic, donating our larger conference rooms to Just Communities is one way we can give back and be part of the solution to close the learning gap,” she said.

While coworking was a relatively new concept for Santa Barbara in 2013, working from home has become the new reality. As a result of the pandemic and offices being closed, the idea of the hybrid work model has become prevalent.

Recognizing that a combination of working from home and from the office is optimal for most people and businesses, Workzones was designed to be an extension of the home office. Elevating how someone works resulting in business growth and greater work-life balance is a key driver for Workzones.

A number of local companies, such as LoaCom, ClearpathGPS, Canndescent and Jottshots!, along with other professionals and businesses have used theWorkzones offices, meeting rooms and coworking areas for productivity, community, collaboration and growth.

With the county entering the orange tier and the lifting of the colored tiered system in mid-June, Workzones is prepared to handle the pent-up demand for in-person meetings, depositions and mediations, training workshops and events.

Leveraging technology will allow for accommodating both in-person and virtual meetings. Members and guests can collaborate with a Workzones concierge to create the optimal event, including extra meeting spaces to accommodate break-out sessions to keep attendees physically distanced.

Workzones’ health and safety procedures for physical distancing and disinfecting are well-established and based on the latest CDC, California Department of Public Health and Santa Barbara County Public Health guidelines. Members and guests are urged to take breaks and meals outside for fresh air and to support local downtown businesses.