Parent Survival Guide: Virtual learning support programs available

Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 11:54 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Parents in school districts across the Lowcountry say they need help getting their children ready for virtual education following winter break.

Matt Sweat’s children are in the Berkeley County School system and he says he’s scrambling to accommodate his children as they return to school online.

“We don’t get a lot of notice and these week-long virtual things are dropped on us so we scramble,” Sweat said. Sweat and his wife who is a nurse have both been working throughout the pandemic.

Since early on Sweat said they have had to find a virtual option for their 2nd grade twins Harper and Tristen who attend school in the Berkeley County School District.

To help the growing need for many parents, several after school care centers have turned into virtual school support programs.

Coastal Kenpo Karate in Goose Creek is teaching karate, but during school hours they say they are kicking virtual instruction classrooms into high gear.

”We were able to transition overnight to an all virtual center essentially we have internet band width ready to go for the kids to do their zoom classes or lesson plans,” Instructor and Owner Nick Dreiling said.

In Dorchester School District Two, the YMCA at the Ponds works closely with the school district communicating with teachers and staff.

The center says they have been doing a virtual support program since the school year began.

”We had parents come to us worried concerned and did not know what they were going to do when school started because they needed to go back to work and put food on the table we just saw the need,” YMCA at the Ponds Executive Director Jana Chanthabane said.

Chanthabane says their virtual program serves schools mainly in Dorchester County but also in Berkeley county.

“With full virtual a good portion of our facility turns into a classroom we have kids at desks and tables thy are socially distant at 6 feet apart we have space for them to plug in computers and have updated our WiFi to have capacity,” Chanthabane said.

Sweat says programs like this have been a huge relief for him and his wife.

”I don’t know how we would have done it without it we would have had drastic changes with our jobs without that service,” Sweat said.

”We’re here to provide a service at a reasonable price and trying to solve a big problem that’s presented itself,” Dreiling said.

Both of these virtual support programs in Berkeley and Dorchester District Two still currently have space available for additional kids.

People can sign up for the Summerville YMCA at the Ponds program on their website, or Coastal Kenpo’s program on their site.

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