Boys & Girls Club locations to help students with virtual learning while parents work

Many parents across the country are concerned about how they’ll juggle working and helping their children who are learning from home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boys & Girls Clubs in some regions are here to help. Clubs in certain regions will host programming during the day for children for the first time.

One such example is the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Indiana, which is partnering with schools in the region for the 2020-2021 school year.

Children will have access to internet, meals and classroom-like settings where trained staff will be on-site to help with homework and studies, The Northwest Indiana Times reported.

Parents can drop their children off as early as 6:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 6:30 p.m.

Similar school-club partnerships and programs are happening in other regions, including some in Texas and Arizona.

“We’re bringing on a number of academic aides, which is a new position for us,” Angie Mock, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio, told KHOU-TV. “Our families are typically not families who have the luxury of working from home. What’s going to happen, and what actually happened in this past spring, was the parents either couldn’t be there with their children to help them with their virtual learning or they didn’t have the ability.”

Ryan Smiley, the president and CEO of the organization’s Northwest Indiana chapter, said children will receive “the instruction and support they need for their continued emotional, social and academic development.”

Boys & Girls Clubs chapters with virtual learning assistance are offering subsidies to families who have suffered significant financial losses and cannot afford the weekly fees, but Smiley notes that the new programs come with higher costs to the club.

“Lowering ratios, purchasing personal protective equipment, opening clubs to a longer day, and making sure we are going the extra mile with cleaning and sanitizing rooms and surfaces between uses are crucial to protecting our club members, and we won’t compromise on that, and we won’t compromise on the quality of our programming,” he said. “Increasing our operations produces increased costs.”

Mock said she knows how important it is for both parents and children to have proper resources and hopes the organization can alleviate some stress.

“We are that lifeline for that family that keeps that parent employed and or keeps that child safe,” she said. “We can help fulfill that role of keeping them on track academically with virtual school.”

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