In West Virginia, nearly one in four children live in poverty.
As a result, as CNN reports, these children often rely on free or “reduced-price school breakfasts” to survive.
So when the teachers in West Virginia banded together to strike for higher wages and better benefits, consequently shutting down the public schools, they wanted to make sure their students were still eating.
So, in the midst of their strike, the dedicated teachers in West Virginia still put their students first. Jennifer Wood of the American Federation of Teachers union in West Virginia told CNN:
“Before they made the decision to strike they wanted to make sure their students' needs were taken care of.”
When the strike was expected to last just two days last week, teachers prepared for their students by packing meals to last through the short few days. When the strike creeped over into this current week, teachers continued to go above and beyond.
With students out of school, teachers have had to get creative in doling out food. This meant setting up distribution points, or even hand-delivering meals to students' doorsteps.
Kevin Green, social studies instructor at Riverview High School, said:
“Our students rely on us for more than just education, so we are trying to help them during this time. We want to continue to show our love for our kids, even when we can't be there because we are fighting for our rights.”
According to the Herald-Dispatch, West Virginia schools will reopen Thursday, March 1. The end of the strike was signaled by a deal struck up by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice who offered the striking “teachers and school service personnel a 5 percent pay raise in the first year.”