MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — Students falling behind on school work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t anything new. However, a Madison City schoolteacher is stepping up to help solve that problem by starting an after school program.

Kristin Brown teaches at Liberty Middle School in the Madison City School System. She saw a need and went to work.

“We had a lot of kids falling behind, especially because of COVID,” Brown said. “We have kids coming back and they just can’t get caught up. They are tired. They are exhausted and their parents are too.”

What Brown realized is, it isn’t just COVID-19 that has students falling behind on assignments.

“She had been sick and came back and had missed some work and I think she just got overwhelmed with it,” said Lorita Edwards, the grandmother of a Madison City Schools student. “You know, just got kind of paralyzed with trying to get caught up.”

“His dad had a recent surgery that has changed our trajectory with our family significantly so that has played a role in his grades as well,” said Jacqueline Carter, a student’s mother.

Brown says she realized it wasn’t a learning gap, but students needing help to prioritize assignments. She’s helping cut through the red tape.

“The teachers help work with them on the assignments they were missing and then the students will go back and even email the teachers and the parents ‘hey, I worked on this assignment,’ ‘I’m still missing this’,” said Hayley Davidson, another student’s mother.

The program offers no distractions, snacks, and dinner.

“I was like ‘oh my gosh,’ these kids are like completing these assignments in record time and they are getting, they are passing,” Brown continued.

For Brown, starting the Academic Enrichment Program is about filling the needs of others.

“I’m almost in tears because she found out there was a need for him, and it was so good for him because he went from not asking questions to helping someone else in the after-school program,” Carter concluded.

Liberty Middle School’s Academy Enrichment Program is every Monday after school and lasts until 7 p.m.