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Local Fifth Grader Publishes Book on Pandemic

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A Fort Worth fifth grader took her virtual learning experience during the pandemic and turned it into something good. | Image by NBC DFW

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A fifth grader from Fort Worth recently wrote and published her own children’s book about her learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nashiy Price was in the third grade when the pandemic hit. The book Virtual Learning: My Experience with Virtual Learning During a Pandemic catalogs her transition from in-person schooling at the Leadership Academy at John T. White Elementary to at-home learning.

The description claims that the story “is a short yet vibrant adventure on a day in the life of Nashiy’s online school experience.”

The book is set in 2021 when “Nashiy was in third grade,” which makes “virtually learning an even more electrifying exploration.”

The book was published this past May. Upon receiving her first printed copy, the 10-year-old told NBC, “It was so cute. I was looking through the pages. I was amazed. And I was literally so happy.”

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and Walmart.

Barnes and Noble described the book as “a short yet vibrant adventure on a day in the life of Nashiy’s online school experience.”

The 26-page printed book also includes interactive coloring pages.

Online learning, however, has had less-than-stellar quantitative results. A Brookings study released in January found that students’ grades and test scores have significantly dropped since the pandemic.

Their study compared students’ test scores in grades 3-8 in fall 2019, fall 2020, and fall 2021. From 2019 to 2020, scores dropped across both reading and math with standard deviations of 0.09-0.18 and 0.2-0.27, respectively.

Student achievement averages continued to drop the following year, leading to a phenomenon called “learning loss.”

Since schools shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local ISDs have struggled to ensure their students meet academic standards.

Fifth graders like Nashiy at Fort Worth ISD saw their STAAR scores that “met grade level or above” drop between 2019 and 2021 in both reading and math, with declines of 9% and 17%, respectively. For its part, Dallas ISD’s fifth graders did not do much better, clocking declines of 5% and 13% in those categories over the same time period.   

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