TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Marine veteran Randall Leverett, known to his students as master, owns and operates 2 Dragons Martial Arts, a daycare.
For six years, the daycare's two locations in Amory and Tupelo operated afterschool programs and summer camps.
After this past spring break, 2 Dragons did not close for the coronavirus outbreak. Leverett said the state health department inspected the place and exempted them from having to close due to meeting particular criteria.
Leverett said the daycare follows CDC guidelines and does continuous strategic cleaning. One process involves rotating three groups of distanced students around four spots in a room and cleaning the open spot each time.
Leverett said the daycare hasn’t had a single fever or symptom.
“The parents need to know that their kids are safe, and we’re working extra hard to make sure that happens,” Leverett said. “It creates a lot of nervousness. I understand, in society in general, and people have concerns, and that’s why we try and go out of our way to make the time to talk to them all individually.”
He said they take everyone’s temperatures three times a day, use hospital-grade cleaning supplies and practice 6-feet social distancing.
Leverett said the kids do not spar against each other and are seated safe distances apart during activities and homework time.
The kids often travel to Tupelo's Ballard Park to learn karate outside.
Leverett said many of the kids whom they care for are children of essential workers.
Rob Bucci is a registered nurse at the Mississippi Medical Center. He said he’s grateful for 2 Dragons, who teaches his daughter karate.
“I don’t really have any extra concerns as any other situation would be,” Bucci said. “The school does a lot of disinfecting, cleaning. They’re COVID compliant with all the CDC recommendations.”
Bucci’s daughter Caroline said her favorite thing to do in karate is kicking and board breaking. She wears a red uniform because she is a member of the Special Winning Attitude Team, also known as S.W.A.T.
She urges other kids to not be afraid and be sure to watch their hands
2 Dragons has been using Zoom meetings to reach kids at home and look forward to the day they can all get back together again.
2 Dragons created a website for their upcoming summer camp - tupelosbestsummercamp.com.