YMCA offering e-Learning Academy

Published 9:21 pm Monday, August 10, 2020

YMCA’s across South Hampton Roads, including the Suffolk Family YMCA off Godwin Boulevard, will offer full-day child care options this fall that it said would support the virtual learning plans from area school divisions.

Registration for the e-Learning Academy program is available for children in pre-K through eighth grade.

“In the absence of the classroom, the Y is ready to be the surrogate program to ensure social, emotional and virtual learning are fulfilled,” said Anthony Walters, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads in a news release. “We will have a program that will ensure needs are met, and families are presented with options that fit this unprecedented environment.”


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The YMCA is looking for people to help with its goal of creating equitable access to its academy program. Most YMCA programs, including the academy, have income-based pricing, and it anticipates offering $275,000 in financial assistance during the first nine weeks of the school year for families in need.

The program calls for a structured day to allow time for virtual learning, physical activities and play. Should schools return to in-person learning, the YMCA said it would adjust its programs accordingly.

Children enrolled in the program will be responsible for bringing their own electronic device and headphones to participate in their school’s virtual learning program, though the YMCA will have a limited supply of electronic devices available. The YMCA said it would have academic coaches to ensure children complete assignments on time, and it would also provide child care and camp-style activities.

Those coming to the YMCA will be screened daily before they enter the e-Learning Academy, and children will need to wear a mask when inside the YMCA. It said it would maintain social distancing and proper personal hygiene for children. Staff will clean before the YMCA opens, before and after each activity, during transition periods and will perform extensive sanitizing and disinfecting when it closes for the day.

If there are any positive COVID-19 cases at a location, it will notify members and participants about the case and immediately close that location while contact tracing is done, as well as deep clean and sanitize the location. It said it would also work with the state department of health to determine the risk to staff, members and participants in the program before reopening.

Parents will be able to choose the days they will need care for their children, or they can enroll them Monday through Friday.

Hours for the Suffolk Family YMCA will be 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the daily rate $28 for members and $35 for non-members.

Once parents complete the registration process, they will receive a follow-up email to upload their paperwork required by licensing — if they did not do so for the YMCA summer camp program. Payments will be automatically drafted from families’ payment method on file the Wednesday prior to the week their child will be at the e-Learning Academy.

To learn more about the program or to register, go to www.ymcashr.org/y-academy.