Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula reopening with safety in mind


(WAVY) — While many public schools are starting the year with remote learning, class is in session at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. They are opening the doors just after Labor Day with a plan to keep kids and teens safe.

They’ve made a lot of changes to bring kids and teens back in a safe and healthy way. Most locations typically open after school, but because many schools are operating virtually, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula are adjusting hours to be open during the day.

Since 1946, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula has been helping kids and teens.
That’s why, even when the doors closed because of the pandemic, they never stopped fulfilling that mission.

Hal Smith, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula, said, “From March 31 on, we’ve been providing grab-and-go dinners every single day at eight of our locations. We’re up to 1,100 meals that we’re serving, but then we’re also providing virtual programming opportunities through Zoom classes with our staff so we can connect with the kids.”

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, six locations will re-open.

Smith says they’ve made a number of changes to make sure kids are safe and healthy. It starts with social distancing.

“Inside the club, we’ll have tables and desks set up, you know, strategically 6 feet apart, you know, to maintain the social distance,” said Smith.

Staff will be required to wear masks. There will be hourly hand-washing and sanitation. Plus, shared items will no longer be shared.

Smith said, “In normal circumstances, everybody will share. If its crayons, everybody will share. We can’t — we have to make sure that everybody has their own set of supplies.”

Capacity will also be capped at 25 percent.

Smith says these changes are worth it.

“The best thing we can do to support our youth and our families is to provide an all-day program where kids have a safe place to go,” said Smith. “If they come here, there’s no isolation that they might have at home. They’ll have a safe environment here and they’ll also have support as they navigate through their virtual program.”

At least one facility in every locality the Boys & Girls Clubs serve will be open. There will also be teaching assistants on-hand to help.

You can learn more by clicking here.

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