As East Boston students headed back to school remotely many of the neighborhood’s working parents headed back to their jobs.
For the hundreds of parents unable to work from home, but have young children that need help with remote learning, the Salesian Boys & Girls Club’s new program has been a lifeline for working parents in the neighborhood.
“The Boys & Girls Club staff have all the school-age children’s schedules for school and are assisting them with logging into their virtual classrooms and completing school work,” said Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Michael Triant. “We started up On Monday September 14 when charter and parochial schools began online classes. We are following a similar model as our summer program with pods of 8-12 kids and 1-2 staff with each group.”
Triant said the Club received a $20,000 donation from Cargo Ventures to support both the improvement of the Club’s internet capabilities to serve the volume of WIFI usage and to provide scholarships to families.
“The cost of the program is $150 per week,” said Triant. “We are open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and provide each child with breakfast, lunch and a snack. We will also have Chef Anthony Pino from the Cunard Tavern starting to prepare a family style take home dinner for all families in the program on Wednesday.
Each child enrolled in the program brings their school-issued ChromeBooks and through a partnership with Belle Isle Rotary the Club was able to secure a pair of headphones with a microphone for every child in the program.
“We currently have 60 children enrolled in this program and are committed to finding more qualified staff in the near future to reach our capacity of 90 children,” said Triant. “Please reach out to the club directly if you have an interest in joining our team or if you have children whom you would like to enroll.”
Triant said he was extremely proud of the way the Club has continued to adapt during this pandemic.
“We have altered our program structure to meet the needs of our community numerous times over the past seven months,” said Triant. “Although families’ needs change, our mission remains the same. We are always here to provide safe, nurturing, enriching programs for those who need us most.”
The Club’s Program Director Nicole McCormack added, “I feel happy to be able to offer some structure and consistency in the lives of these children after a few really difficult months. I am grateful to help kids in our community navigate the online learning process.”