New Full Day Academic Support Program Launches in Sheboygan
In response to Sheboygan Area School District’s move to virtual learning, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sheboygan County launched a new service to provide elementary students a safe, supportive place to go during the day for schoolwork.
As of November 9th, 2020, the program is offered Monday-Thursday from 7:30a-5:30p and is structured to deliver academic support during school hours, then complementary enrichment activities. Club CEO Christina Singh says this service is meeting several needs in the community,
“More kids than ever are experiencing chronic absenteeism or falling behind in a virtual learning environment. Some lack resources, like reliable internet or supportive adults. Some have parents working in essential roles who can’t be home during the day. Our goal is to help kids be successful in school and ensure parents or guardians can get to work.”
Singh says Club staff are working closely with schools but won’t take the place of teachers.
- They will keep kids focused, field questions and anticipate challenges with virtual learning. Staff will also intersperse breaks for mindfulness activities, reading, art, yoga and more.
- Staff are trained to build mentoring relationships with youth, a trusting dynamic necessary to identify and overcome learning barriers.
The Full Day Academic Support Program is located at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Sheboygan, a partnership that emerged from the Club’s need for space outside their school-based locations, and the church’s desire to help struggling youth. Pastor Cindy Thompson and church leaders led the effort to have their space fully outfitted with Wi-Fi while searching for the best way to reach kids in need.
“This past summer, church leadership saw an opportunity to serve the community by helping kids most likely to be disadvantaged by a virtual learning environment,” explained Thompson. “We reached out to various community leaders to see how we could best do this. They all directed us to Boys & Girls Club as the organization best equipped to meet this need.”
In addition to partnering with the church for space, the Clubs are working with Sheboygan Area School District to offer meals. “Food insecurity is a growing issue for local kids. We’re grateful to work with the school district to provide kids a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack. We’re even able to send them home with meals for the weekend,” said Singh.
The Clubs were previously providing before-and-after school programming at four school sites in Sheboygan, which they plan to resume when instruction switches back to in-person. They also continue to operate locations at the Club at the Y, and in Sheboygan Falls.