Allina offers up workspaces to help Twin Cities students during distance learning

Allina is offering up its empty work spots for students who need a little help during distance learning. (FOX 9)

With the pandemic forcing more students to attend classes from home, many Minnesota families are struggling to get the resources they need for distance learning.

At the same time, Allina has some extra space after sending some workers home to work remotely. With that, officials say they found an opportunity.

"We have heard from many families in our community that they’re struggling with distance learning," said Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler.

In response, Allina Health is opening its doors.

"This is an opportunity for this learning to happen in a safe space," said Dr. Wheeler.

The health system is donating office space inside its corporate headquarters in the Midtown Exchange Building on 29th and Chicago -- space once utilized by its employees before COVID-19.

"Our goal was to provide under-resourced youth from whatever area with tutors, teachers, technology and tools," said Valerie Quintana with Real Minneapolis. "And a lot of times it was just having a quiet space away from home."

Allina is teaming up with Real Minneapolis and the Northstar Network to provide high-speed internet and educational support for middle and high school students challenged by distance learning.

"It's a very simple message that we all deserve to be loved, we all deserve to have dreams and we all deserve to have equal access to these resources," said Quintana.

"I like getting the workspace and its quiet and I get some snacks," said St. Paul 7th grader Anthony Young.

Organizers say there's room for up to 80 workstations. For young students like Anthony Young and Sophia Koland, this new learning enviornment brings with it, peace of mind.

"Just listen, you don’t really hear anything so I really like how peaceful and quiet it is," said Minneapolis sixth-grader Sophia Koland.

"The real mission of the Real Minneapolis is to shine a bright and radiant light on hope because that’s the Minneapolis that I know," added Quintana.