Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County extended its summer camp schedule through August 26 to account for the delayed start of Palm Beach County public schools. Once distance learning starts for students on Monday, August 31, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County hopes to be open during regular school hours and stay open until 7 PM weekdays. The expanded schedule will allow Club members to have a safe space to complete their distance learning courses while their parents are at work, however the plan still needs to be approved by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Executive Board.
“I commend our parents for asking us to stay open during regular school hours for distant learning so that they do not have to quit their jobs. They don’t want to be unemployed and living off government assistance, and by our Clubs opening, we can help them with the peace of mind that their children are safe while they are at work,” said President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Jaene Miranda.
Currently, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is investigating the added costs associated with extending operating hours which includes extra staff and internet upgrades. The Clubs also plan on feeding Club members breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner at no cost to families.
“Sometimes doing the right thing is not the easy thing, but we do whatever it takes to make sure that our Club members are safe and are not academically falling behind because of an achievement gap created by distance learning. We need to raise at least $775,000 to cover the additional operating costs. Our executive board will ultimately make the decision if it is feasible,” explained Miranda.
This summer, Clubs across Palm Beach County have been able to host, on average more than 750 children a day. The number is limited due to COVID-19 safety guidelines. Typically the Clubs are able to host more than 2000 Club members on a summer day. To help those members who cannot attend, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County created a new virtual Club, www.BGCatHOME.org. It provides live interactive programming five days a week with activities that are led by staff members that the children know and trust. The programing features educational courses, the arts, social-emotional mentoring, career building, STEM and physical activities.
Clubs also continue emergency food programs that started immediately after schools closed due to the pandemic in March. Today Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County has handed out more than 500,000 meals to children in the county, and more than 55,000 Club family members have received a week’s worth of groceries.
If you would like to donate to help Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County stay open during school hours to help children with distant learning, please click the button below to donate.