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America Strong: Teachers across the country go above and beyond as in-person classes return

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(NEW YORK) -- As millions of kids head back to school this fall, "World News Tonight" has followed three incredible teachers caring for students in and outside the classroom.

In Washington D.C., Imani Baucom teaches at the Bilingual Public Charter School. She said her students' safety comes first.

"The kids are really happy to be back… Walking to class. Masks on," said Baucom. "We just remember to put the kids first, to put our health first, and to just take it one day at a time."

With some students and teachers returning to in-person learning amid the pandemic, some adjustments are having to be made.

World News Tonight previously reported that Jennifer Martin, who lives outside of Austin, Texas, turned her garage into a library. With the help of "World News Tonight" viewers, she has now collected more than 4,000 books and 350 students have visited her library.

"Thanks to supporters from all over the country," Martin said. "It's important to continue this effort because once you grow a reader. A reader needs books to read."

Across the country, in Livermore, California, Heidi Robinson has been going the extra mile -- quite literally.

Robinson, who teaches at Marylin Avenue Elementary School, had delivered lesson plans door-to-door during the pandemic and sent her students many virtual hugs along the way.

Nearly a year and a half later, Robinson reports that the class is back together again.

"We are back in school full time! Wearing masks so we're all very safe," said Robinson.

Robinson said virtual hugs have been replaced with elbow bumps and she hopes that progress will only continue.

"We are so incredibly happy to be back in school," she said. "With challenges behind us and lots of hope ahead of us."

 

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