Wichita Journalism Collaborative

The Wichita Journalism Collaborative is an alliance of seven media organizations and three community groups, formed to support and enhance quality local journalism during the global pandemic and beyond.

In addition to KMUW, media partners include The Active Age, The Community Voice, The Journal (Kansas Leadership Center), KSN-TV, The Sunflower and The Wichita Eagle. Community partners committed to participating in the initiative include AB&C Bilingual Resources, The Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University and Wichita Public Library.

The initiative launches with support from the Wichita Community Foundation and the Solutions Journalism Network.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy

The phone rang at 4 a.m. on the West Coast, rousing Angela Muhwezi-Hall from a dead sleep. Normally, calls at such times are bad news.

But this was opportunity calling.

“Now is the time that we have to start working on QuickHire,” her sister, Deborah Gladney, announced from Wichita.

Nursing Home Residents 'Ecstatic' To Get Vaccine

Jan 11, 2021
Courtesy photo

New Year's Eve brought a different kind of celebration at the Kansas Christian Home in Newton: Staff and residents received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We were ecstatic, absolutely thrilled that we were finally getting a step toward protecting our residents, family, friends, ourselves," said Donna Hett, assistant director of nursing at the retirement community, where 110 residents and staff were vaccinated by a visiting team from Walgreens. "I mean we were almost dancing, we were so happy."

cdc.gov

Now that a COVID-19 vaccine has reached Kansas, residents and employees of long-term care homes are expected to be among the first groups of people offered the vaccine.

The question is how many of them will choose to take it. Public health officials and the homes’ operators strongly endorse the vaccine, but polls have shown that many Americans remain skeptical or opposed.

Robert Carter and his wife Mary Ridenour drove up to an alleyway behind First Metropolitan Community Church on a cold December morning in Wichita.

After waiting in a line of cars that sometimes backed up for blocks, they greeted The Rev. Jackie Carter, no relation, but a familiar face, who spoke their names into a walkie talkie.

Within minutes, volunteers had packed the food into their car and moved on to the next family.

“I don’t know what we’d do without this place,” Robert Carter said. “When you have four kids, they give you enough.”

Grandparents Tackle Remote Learning With Their Grandkids

Dec 16, 2020
Khanh Nguyen / The Sunflower

Bel Aire retiree Gary O’Neal stood on his deck, the smell of frying bacon wafting up from the grill. He wasn’t just enjoying a leisurely Wednesday evening, though. He was meal-prepping for yet another school day.

At 73 years old, O’Neal hadn’t planned on going back to school any time soon. But now he and his wife Jackie spend their days helping grandson Jaxon and granddaughter Austyn with their online classes through Isely Elementary.

Watch: Remote Learning Q&A

Dec 10, 2020

The Wichita Journalism Collaborative recently convened a panel of education experts to talk about remote learning and the best ways to keep students engaged, emotionally healthy and learning while attending classes remotely.

The panel included:

Jaime Green / The Wichita Eagle

Rianne Chavez had to start a new bartering game with her 6-year-old daughter last week: if she does her school work for 20 minutes then she can try to get just 20 minutes of paperwork done from home.

Chavez owns a massage therapy practice in Wichita, and when USD 259 sent elementary students home to remote learning last week, she had to figure out how to run her business and teach her child from home at the same time.

“The expectation is that you’re home with your kid,” she said.

Carousel Skate Center In Wichita Offers Socially Distanced Workspace For K-5 Students

Dec 9, 2020
Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

Wichita’s Carousel Skate Center is now hosting elementary students for online learning in a socially distanced work space.

The Wichita School Board voted last week to transition roughly 13,000 elementary students to online learning as coronavirus infections surged, leaving many families scrambling to figure out childcare.

Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started eight months ago, local restaurant owners have been overwhelmed.

In March, they had to shut down their restaurants, figure out how to launch carryout only models, and try to navigate unemployment and loans and grants that could help them and their employees stay afloat.

Hunter Health

When a patient walks into Hunter Health Clinic in Wichita for an appointment, staff might ask them a variety of questions about their living situation: how much food someone has at home, if they’ve recently lost a job or if anyone in their household is struggling with addiction or their mental health.

The screening process is meant to determine someone’s social determinants of health, or conditions in their environment that could have an impact on their health. Lately, the clinic has seen an increase in people seeking care who’ve lost their health insurance after a layoff.

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