Make your home page

If you’re looking to keep your kids busy this summer while getting them out of the house, this is for you! Shannon Williams, Vice President of Community Engagement at The Mind Trust joined us today to fill us in on the Summer Learning Labs happening in Marion County this year.

Enrollment for the Indy Summer Learning Labs is now open to families and students who will entering grades 1-9 in the 2021-22 school year. The Indy Summer Learning Labs are a free, five-week learning acceleration and enrichment program being offered at more than 35 community sites in Central Indiana. The goal of the program is to seize missed learning opportunities that may have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to enrolling interested families for the program, the Indy Summer Learning Labs are also actively recruiting educators from Central Indiana to serve as teachers, coaches, aides and more. Teachers can earn up to $10K for the five week program plus a week of training.

It’s estimated that students may have lost up to a year of learning because of COVID-19, and intensive programs like the Summer Learning Labs have shown to make tangible gains against academic and social-emotional learning outcomes, especially among students from low-income households.

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education.

More information can be found at

United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit to learn more.

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) —  Whether children are going to school in-person or learning at home, they still need to eat. With a lot of kids on free and reduced lunch in Indiana, school districts are doing what they can to make sure all students are being fed.

At Beech Grove City Schools, their biggest obstacle lately has been getting students to actually pick up their food. The district’s students in high school and middle school are on a hybrid schedule and are only at school in-person two days a week. The other three days a week, kids are working from home. However, with around 79% of the district’s students on free and reduced lunch, the Beech Grove City Schools said a lot of kids aren’t actually taking home the food they need for e-learning.

“It weighs pretty heavy in your heart, to know that there are kids out there, that need to be coming and getting the meals and they are not coming to get them,” said Dulcie Holcomb.

Holcomb is the director of Dining Services at Beech Grove City Schools and said the meals are packed with love and she wants every child who needs them, to take them home.

“It’s frustrating because we know what it is like to see them when they come in and they are hungry,” Holcomb said while holding back tears. “We just want them to come and get it. Just come and get the food, it’s here, it’s waiting for you, we are waiting for you. We can’t wait to see you and we need to make sure that they are getting what they need. That’s why we offer as many opportunities to come and pick up the food that we can.”

Students doing all e-learning can pick up their meals for the week at the Beech Grove High School on Wednesdays between 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Kids going to school on a hybrid schedule can take several days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner home at the end of their second school day. Parents can find out more about the food schedule here.

Photo Courtesy: Beech Grove City Schools

“All they have to do at the end of the day is come through the cafeteria and we will be ready for them,” said Holcomb.

When students do eat at school, young children will eat in their classrooms and older students will eat in the cafeteria. The district said the cafeterias are now spaced out and decked out with COVID-19 safety reminders, along with extra sanitation and staff will be distributing the food.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It’s back to school, virtually, for a lot of kids across Indiana. However, for many districts this e-learning has come a long way since the spring, utilizing new technology and educational online programs. 

At Greenbriar Elementary School in Washington Township, teachers and students have been back to virtual learning for a week. The empty hallways and empty desks are a sign of the times, but the classrooms now have staff inside teaching virtual classes. 

The district has provided either iPads or Chromebooks to all students. The first few days of school were about learning how to do e-learning, especially for young students where this is their first experience with school.

Brittany Reedy is a teacher at Greenbriar Elementary School and now connects with her first-grade students online. She shows them how to use the zoom-like technology, mute their computers and sit within the camera screen. She’s making the new normal of teaching and socializing with students online, work as well as possible.

“We are really thinking about what questions are the kids going to have? What is going to come up that we need to prepare for ahead of time? So now, it’s just doing that virtually. So, as far as the electronics and the technology, thinking about what might they not know how to navigate,” said Reedy.

Getting 18 kids to listen, miles apart is a challenge. While it’s sad for everyone not to be in person, schools are using iPads and Chromebooks to make the best of a bad situation.

“Just being back with a teacher and starting to learn those routines and those procedures, just what it is like to be in a somewhat social environment, even though it is virtually. That is really where our kids are learning. So it is just be here with us now and working on what we can,” said Reedy.

Brittany Reedy teaching 1st Graders at Greenbriar Elementary School

There’s still math, science and small groups for reading. Plus, new interactive online programs such as Lexia and Dreambox enable teachers to educate at a distance. The students even learn about internet safety and embrace the change.

“Initially, it’s introducing the technology and application. And then the next phase is helping them understand even though I am communicating online, not all of my school work is going to be online,” said Greenbriar Elementary School Principal, Tim Blom

Currently, it’s not clear when kids will be back to school in-person in Washington Township. However, Blom thinks this time away will have some benefits.

“It is difficult to be in the building without kids, but I also feel a great sense of pride when I see how hard our teachers are working to still connect. Get creative in their classrooms and be engaging. I am very hopeful at this point that we will get through this moment of time and be stronger for it,” said Blom.

That’s the mentality teachers like Reedy are taking, still, they miss seeing their students in person.

“I hope that we get them back in the classroom soon,” said Reedy.

Treasured Teachers: Mrs. Carter from Perry Township

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Teachers in Indiana work hard. It’s one of the biggest understatements you can say but every year some districts see a drop in teacher retention, stagnating salaries and wonderful educators leaving the calling to use their skills in another industry. 

Thursday on Daybreak, reporter Brenna Donnelly sought to honor one excellent local teacher for being exactly that, an excellent, treasured teacher. 

She didn’t have to travel far; she found Mrs. Kerri Carter in a first-grade classroom inside Douglas McArthur Elementary School in Perry Township. 

“Mrs. Carter is all heart for the kids,” said fellow first-grade teacher Angie Merder. “She is loving. She cares about them as a person.” 

Our news crew went to Douglas McArthur Elementary to learn what we could about Mrs. Carter without her knowing. We met with her class in the library and got to hear from fellow teachers and students about what makes Mrs. Carter such an impactful teacher. 

“I just want to read this to Mrs. Carter,” said Adrian, one of her students, as he held a hand-written nomination letter in his hands. “Mrs. Carter is the best.” 

“First she helps me,” said another student, reading off her paper. 

“She is nice and she helps me with math,” smiled another. 

“I think Mrs. Carter is a nice teacher,” another echoed. 

“She always makes every day good,” said a student. 

“She wears pretty dresses,” said a boy with his nose pressed to his letter. 

“I like the mistakes she makes and my class laughs,” grinned Adrian. 

Merder says the proof of Mrs. Carter’s diligence with the students is evident in their love not only for her, but for learning. She says that requires a lot on the part of Mrs. Carter.

“Patience. Some ability to get down on their level,” she said. “and just developing their personality traits. Good morals and values and trying to model those so these 6-year-olds can mimic them.” 

We gathered all the video clips of students and prepared to surprise Mrs. Carter in class a few days later. 

“Is this Mrs. Carter’s class? First grade? At Douglas McArthur Elementary?” Brenna Donnelly asked, walking in the classroom with two cameras rolling. 

Mrs. Carter looked dumbfounded but replied that it was. Brenna pointed at the group of eager students.

“They wanted to honor you as a great teacher on the news today, so we wanted to surprise you and let you know how much they love you, and how much we appreciate all that you’re doing for first-grade students,” Brenna said. “But we have another surprise for you.” 

Our team sat Mrs. Carter down and played the video of student letters, and as the students cheered, grinned, and spoke her praises, she became emotional 

“‘I’m very overwhelmed. I’m very touched. That kind of brings it all together of why I do this,” Mrs. Carter said. “It’s just made my world.” 

The school’s principal, Star Hardimon, said Mrs. Carter deserves every ounce of this recognition. 

“Year after year I have kids wanting to come back to the school and see her,” she said, noting a difference in students who have been through her classroom. “They’re very confident, they care about others and are so compassionate with each other.” 

As an exceptional teacher with 29 years of experience in first grade, we gave Mrs. Carter an opportunity to share advice or encouragement to her fellow teachers. She advised balance in your life, but an undying pursuit to do what’s in your soul. 

“After retirement, I will find other avenues to touch lives. It’s just something that was instilled in me. Both my parents were educators and so I, that’s just what I’ve seen. That’s just my calling as well,” she said through tears. 

We honor your Mrs. Kerri Carter, and thank you for your service and love for the students of Perry Township.

If you want to honor a teacher as one of WISH-TV’s Treasured Teachers, email Brenna Donnelly at or tell her about your nomination on Facebook

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Nearly 300 Indianapolis Public School (IPS) students will attend a Tuesday night event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse featuring Michelle Obama, the district said.

Free tickets to “A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama” were gifted to IPS high schools by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana and distributed to select students on the basis of academic achievement, community involvement and other factors, according to administrators.

A group of Crispus Attucks High School students were giddy with excitement when school principal Lauren Franklin selected them to attend, calling it a “happy shock” and the “opportunity of a lifetime.”

“I even jumped up and hugged her,” said sophomore Feven Tekeste. “And I do not hug people.”

Tekeste, 16, considers the former first lady a role model and plans to pursue a career in law, she told 24-Hour News 8.

“I can look up to [Michelle Obama],” said Tekeste. “I used to think ‘I couldn’t do it because I was black; I couldn’t do it because I was a woman.’ She showed me that my dreams are possible and I’m forever grateful for her.”

Finding a role model she could relate to gave her the courage to believe in herself, she explained, as well as the strength to speak out about sociopolitical issues she feels passionately about. Tekeste said she plans to ultimately work as a civil rights attorney.

Crispus Attucks senior Princess Davis, 19, also credits Obama as her inspiration to pursue a law degree. The cheerleader, basketball player and track runner currently serves as senior class president and the “voice of the school” heard during campus announcements. She said she approaches her extracurriculars with a heavy focus on community advocacy and balance; priorities also noted by Obama.

“I love everything I do but I make sure I have enough time for school and for myself,” said Davis. “When things get tough… I step back and remind myself what I’m doing it all for.”

Perseverance in the face of challenge is something fellow senior Maria De Leon, 18, is familiar with.

“I have parents who have limited education and didn’t grow up speaking English, so they’re not able to help me as they would like to,” she explained. “I had to seek opportunities for myself.”

De Leon excelled academically throughout high school and was recently announced as a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient. The award will cover her tuition when she enrolls at Butler University this fall. She plans to major in public relations and political science, she said, and will be the first in her family to attend college.

“Michelle Obama has been a role model for everyone,” said De Leon. “Not only the African American community but for other minorities as well.”

Sophomore Faith Harrington, 15, looks up to the former first lady for more than her success as a minority female. She also admires her for being a dedicated mother, loving wife and “scandal-free” politician, she told 24-Hour News 8.

“Her legacy is just being a true woman,” said Harrington. “She is everything.”

Faith Harrington, Maria De Leon, Princess Davis and Feven Tekeste are among 30 students from Crispus Attucks invited to hear Michelle Obama speak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The event is scheduled to begin Tuesday at 7 p.m.