Home News COVID-19 Situation Youth organization offers learning space

Youth organization offers learning space

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With the start of school virtually around the corner, one local organization is offering help for parents who can’t stay at home with their children for online learning.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln counties is offering space to learn and activities through the day in both Roswell and Ruidoso for students in first grade and above.

While limited to 20 children, the Roswell club still had six openings available as of Tuesday afternoon, Director Tim Coughlin said. The Ruidoso branch has a waiting list.

Normally, the organization offers programs for students after school, but is expanding its hours to 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“Given the virtual mode of the schools right now, and then eventually going to hybrid, what we’re doing is providing a space for the kids,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got access to the internet so they’ll be able to bring their Chromebooks and we’ll be able to allow them to do their education process and then get some physical activity, do some fun activities, as well.”

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The number of children the club can serve could change if more staff can be hired or as health orders change. Right now, youth programs are limited to a 5-to-1 ratio of children to adults.

The cost of the program is $55 a week. Some scholarship funds are available with the Roswell program. The fee structure could change if more students are allowed and as schools are allowed to move into hybrid or the traditional models of learning, Coughlin said.

Coughlin said the staff has not yet seen information on student schedules, but anticipates students will be taking instruction virtually for five and a half to seven hours a day.

“We’re going to support them and allow them to be online and help as much as possible,” he said.

Parents are asked to make sure their child’s computer is fully charged, provide their school schedule and make sure their children know their login information or can provide it.

The Roswell club will be at the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center. Staff members won’t provide instruction to the students but they can assist with technical help such as a locked-up computer or logging in to instructional platforms.

Once the state allows the hybrid mode of learning — when students will be in school two days a week and learning online three days — the staff will offer a “power hour” of homework help, Coughlin said.

One basketball court at the recreation center has been reserved for the organization for students to get some physical activity during the day, as well.

“When the weather’s nice, when it’s not 100 degrees, we take them across the street to the park and get some sunshine and fresh air,” he said.

Above all, Coughlin said, he’s told the staff to be ready for change as the the situation with the pandemic evolves.

“I’m telling all the staff be on your toes. The only constant is going to be change,” he said.

For more information on the program, call 575-416-0214.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.