The power of social media has been a connecting point throughout this whole Pandemic. We spoke to the leaders of two different Facebook groups who are supporting those returning to school.

Whether it’s online or in-person, it’s inevitable — it’s back to school time and it’s not your typical school year.

“A lot of times on Facebook if someone were to mention distance-learning. Even just the thought of it would bring up a lot of negativity and drama that a lot of us don’t really want to be a part of,” said Michelle Riveland/Admin of Distance learning support group for Bismarck – Mandan – Lincoln.

That’s why Michelle started a Facebook group specifically for parents whose children are distance-learning — for them to feel a part of a community..But there are some concerns about the upcoming school year.

“I think a lot of us expected the distance learning to go the way that it did last year. However, it turns out we just found out last minute that it will be completely different and not what we expected,” said Riveland.

But for one stay at home mom, it works out perfectly because she works from home and says she likes having the extra support of the group.

“I think it’s just been good up to this point to gauge where other parents are at, get some helpful ideas on what they’re doing at home for set up purposes,” said Steph Orr/Parent.

But it’s not just the parents and students that need support. It’s teachers too. That’s why Wendy Anderson- Berg started the Facebook group called Bismarck Area Parents Supporting Teachers.

“I think that there’s a lot of anxiousness on both parent’s side and the friends that I have that are teachers. So I thought what’s one way parents could show their support in an easy way,” said Anderson-Berg.

Teachers create an Amazon wish list and parents purchase whats on the list. Shopping either online or locally, the needs are the same — face masks and cleaning supplies are at the top of the list.

“t feels so much more positive going into the school year when we’re all working together and helping each other,” said Anderson-Berg.

And despite the changes COVID 19 has brought on the way school is functioning now, the community is still supporting one another.

Needs may change throughout the school year so as of right now, both admins say the groups will stay open as long as they’re necessary.