ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area announced Tuesday that they would open their Albany and Troy locations to provide a space for students learning virtually.
Dara Sim, a parent whose child is in the program, said she was concerned about what options she had while juggling work and watching over her nine year old daughter Amy, who’s virtually learning.
“Without this program a lot of people could have lost their jobs,” Sims said.
Sim also said the program’s good for her daughter’s mental health. The mom noticed her Amy beginning to withdraw because she wasn’t interacting with her friends.
“She started to show signs of depression and, you know, just a complete sadness,” Sim said.
The program launched on September 14. It’s open to kids ages 5 through 12, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Boys and Girls clubs on Delaware Avenue in Albany and 7th Avenue in Troy will be offering enrichment activities, homework help, arts and crafts, tutoring, and access to their games room and technology lab.
Director of Development Jimmy Bulmer calls club staff pseudo teachers and mentors.
“As a team and as a community we can come together to make sure they can get the support that they need,” Bulmer said.
Each week costs $225 for the 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. block, and $125 for the afterschool 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m block. DSS and scholarships are available at each location. Apply for a spot at the Albany branch here, and for a spot in Troy here.
“We really see ourselves playing a vital role in making sure that our kids are safe, they’re accounted for and that they’re provided the resources needed to be successful,” Bulmer said.
The full-day program represents a solution for busy working parents struggling to find a way to keep the kids plugged into digital lessons. Opening their Clubhouses during the day will create a kind of secondary classroom for remote students, so that the main classroom maintains social distancing protocols.
The pandemic has made “sending the kids to school” a much more complicated prospect in the upcoming semester. Offering a safe and clean space for remote students in the Capital Region will help them learn and thrive.