In March, thousands of children in the St. Louis region were sent home from school due to COVID-19's unpredictability. This left many without caring and supportive adults, hands-on activities, hot meals, and reliable technology to complete homework. Once health officials were able to provide reopening guidelines for different work and childcare environments in May, ARCHS partners were able to develop current programming to adhere to those guidelines.
ARCHS utilized $135,602 to help school-age partners this summer to connect children with essential educational programming. Funding also helped partners purchase cleaning supplies, PPE, and technology for students participating. Here are the partners who launched summer programming for children in grades K-12:
Adams Park Boys and Girls Club provided in-person programming this summer with STEM activities, exercises to understand entrepreneurship, and groups to develop social and emotional skills. Students also had the opportunity to participate in community service projects and find joy in helping others. Feedback from kids remained pretty consistent across the board: They did not enjoy social distancing, but enjoyed being able to make friends and interact with kids other than their siblings.
Gene Slay's Girls and Boys Club facilitated in-person programming this summer. Among the many activities was a peace parade through Soulard to promote social justice, which garnered local media attention.
Horizons/SPROG provided a virtual summer experience that allowed students to broaden their horizons with nutrition and fitness, life skills, new cultural exeriences, and engaging with parents to contribute to their child's success.
Midtown Community Services offered virtual summer programming via Zoom to its students. Children were entertained by a band, and even had the opportunity to help out offline in the Midtown Community Garden (at a safe social distance, of course!)
Provident offered virtual programming for students in the Jennings School District at Woodland Elementary and Fairview Primary and Intermediate Schools.
Unleashing Potential provided hands-on, engaging virtual programming to 18 children during a six-week program. Morning sessions were for students in grades 1-2 and afternoon sessions were for students in grades 3-5. Kids learned about local and famous inventors, key science concepts, and career opportunities. They also practiced problem solving as they investigated the principles of flight, how to create their own games, equipment and sports facilities, as well as how to protect the ecosystem.
Wesley House offered both in-person and virtual programming for students surrounding the arts, sports, and STEM activities.
This fall, ARCHS will assist school-age partners in providing before and after school programming options to keep students safe and engaged, as many districts are starting virtually.