The pandemic continues to alter daily life and, as the school year starts back up again, school districts and institutions are challenged to protect students and staff while furthering students’ education. A metro area not-for-profit organization, HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis, is stepping up to help ensure kids from low-income families don’t get left behind.
HealthWorks! launched its Fall Learning Support Camp on Monday and welcomed 40 kindergarten through fourth grade students into its program, according to a press release. In coordination with The Little Bit Foundation, which identified who in the community qualified as most at-risk, the program is free to all participants and offers a socially distanced, safe learning environment.
“Our team has helped these students navigate technology challenges with their school, acted as tutors and made sure they were able to report to scheduled classes,” the organization stated on its Facebook page.
The program covers nine weeks of remote learning and features healthy activities supervised and guided by the museum’s professional staff. HealthWorks! further supports parents by extending the school day from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., allotting more time in the day for caretakers to fulfill work obligations.
Children bring school-issued devices with them each day of camp and receive a nutritious lunch, program supplies and secure internet access to complete schoolwork. Museum staff are working to meet all guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Preventions, with daily screenings for staff and students, mask requirements and increased sanitation, according to the press release.
“Our top priority is to give children in the St. Louis community – regardless of income level or where they live – a safe space to learn and grow during this time of uncertainty,” says Shannon Laine, HealthWorks! president and CEO, in a press release. “With generous donations and the support of the community, we will be able to provide crucial resources for some of the most at-risk children.”
HealthWorks! supports each student at a cost of $2,500 per child or $100,000 for all 40 participants. According to the press release, grant funding has been critical to supporting these underserved families, but the museum is dependent on community support to bridge funding gaps. To donate or sponsor the program, visit hwstl.org/healthworks-fall-learning-support-camp or call 314-241-7391.
HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis, 1100 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-7391, hwstl.org
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