TUCSON, Ariz. — Thousands of students have returned to school, but not in person, and parents are scrambling to balance work and teaching their students.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson has been offering services to working families since March, but has seen a spike in the number of families that need their services.
"We are seeing a great need for parents now I think most parents thought that school would be starting again and now they're realizing that they have to go to work and they have to be at home. They're going to have a problem trying to figure out how they're going to be able to manage that. So, we're doing everything we can to support the community and in a way that we can,” said Debbie Wagner, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson.
More than 200 kids are already taking advantage of the program.
Students enrolled in the all-day program can login to class and even participate in activities after remote learning hours.
Masks, temperature checks, and social distancing are required.
"When [children] come in when they're divided into a group of one to eight. We take them into a special room and they social distance in the room to do their work. And then [for] activities, we try to keep them in their same group,” explained Wagner.
Wagner added the program can accommodate about 300 students total, with a 55 student capacity at five of their six locations, and 25 student capacity at the other.
“After school and after their classes, they can participate in our Boys and Girls Clubs program which can include going into the computer lab, taking an art class, and just playing some of the games that we have, or getting our help with their homework," she said.
But before parents can drop their kids off—they have to register. The process includes signing a waiver ahead of their children joining the program.
“That's because we want to make sure they understand that it can be contracted anywhere, COVID-19. We are doing everything to protect, and to put everything in place, following CDC [protocol], that we can, but we cannot," said Wagner.
The Boys and Girls Clubs is applying for grants and asking for donations to successfully help local families.