Continued distance learning due to pandemic has school supply stores helping families as homes remain classrooms

Neely's School Supplies in South L.A. has seen their customer base shift from teachers to parents as the classroom moves from the campus to the home.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020
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Continued distance learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic has school supply stores filling the gaps for families as homes remain classrooms.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Students are getting ready to go "back to school", even though for most, that means learning from home.

Since 1965, Neely's School Supplies in South L.A. has sold education essentials to the community. But with the coronavirus pandemic and LAUSD announcing online distance learning for the upcoming school year, they've seen their customers shift from teachers to parents as the classroom moves from school to the home.

"Since COVID-19 with the schools and the school districts closing, our primary base customers are parent teachers, parents who are looking to make sure their child doesn't fall behind, that they're able to supplement their learning," said store manager Jerald Neely.

Parents are trying to help their children stay ahead, like Amini Aubrey, who bought charts to help her son with visual learning.

"My son still needs to visualize and to kind of count tens. He still has trouble with it. And I said oh it's a good visual for him to see it," said Aubrey.

"I have a friend who runs a preschool and right now since like COVID is happening she also has like siblings and a child, so she's going to use these to help teach them since distance learning is happening right now," said customer America Aubrey.

At St. Genevieve School in Panorama City, a private school that has already started its school year, students are distance learning via Zoom. That presents a unique challenge for teachers.

"There's some frustration because we have to use Zoom and some people don't know how to use the break out room or remind texting and all these others apps that we're trying to figure out how to use," said teacher Samantha Fanelli.

While students are at home distance learning, the teachers are on Zoom from empty classrooms.

For the latest news on back to school and educational resources, visit