CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Summerville YMCA is offering a school support program for children not able to return to their classrooms next month.
The program provides a full day of childcare and learning support for students who will be enrolled in virtual or hybrid lessons this fall.
The program is offered from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It includes internet access and tech support, physical education class, art, recess, tutoring, breakfast and lunch.
“We will be able to support them and their technology, making sure they are getting logged on and keeping them on task. And then, we are also going to be able to offer PE and art and recess, and those things kids have been missing since March, since schools closed,” Summerville YMCA’s Jana Chanthabane said
It does come at a price though, and officials say it’s not necessarily a safer option amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve never said that we are safer, that it’s not ok for kids to be at school, but it is ok for them to be at the Y. This is purely born out of need,” Chanthabane said. “We had parents that called us just in a panic. They have to go to work, work full-time and they have little ones that can’t be at home by themselves.”
Parents say this option gives them some stability as well to provide for their families.
“There’s just so much uncertainty with DHEC, and we needed something that was a little bit more concrete to where we knew our kids had somewhere to go to learn and that we could still continue working and going to school,” Parent Karen Rupp said.
The Summerville YMCA applied for a temporary childcare license with the state to provide this emergency assistance to schools and parents.