CINCINNATI — Many working parents are faced with a seemingly impossible challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic: Working while teaching their children, who are learning online, at the same time. Although parents know how to cope and multitask, it’s just not possible to be in two places at once.
That’s where the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati comes in. The organization has expanded its traditional after-school services to welcome students during the day, too. At the Boys and Girls Club, children have a quiet, safe place to focus on their virtual classes and get help from trained staff members.
“And the reason we’re doing that is to meet the needs of our families," said Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati CEO Bill Bresser. “This is the most challenging school year that they’ve probably ever faced.”
Bresser said the organization didn't plan on the sudden shift but began its expanded programs out of necessity. Virtual learning was nearly impossible for a lot of the kids who come from households with single, working moms, he said.
“So we have to. We have really no choice,” he said. “We’ve got to change our model to meet the needs of this community. I keep saying it throughout this whole crisis: We were built for this. We were built to meet these needs.”
Boys and Girls Club locations are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and offer three meals and two snacks daily to students. Each standalone location also has a full-time education director and several part-time workers who help kids login to their devices and answer questions about assignments.
Emanual Kimble, Education director at U.S. Bank Boys and Girls Club in Avondale, said the program is going well so far.
“I think definitely, from the students all the way to the parents, and even the schools definitely appreciate what we do,” Kimble said. “And we definitely appreciate this relationship that we’re creating to make sure that we’re educating our youth.”
The Boys and Girls Club is still looking to hire part-time workers to help with the new academic programs and is accepting donations to help cover additional costs. To contact the organization’s main office, click here.