Amidst remote work, job loss and economic uncertainty during the pandemic, many families have also faced a new need and expense: child-care for their school-aged kids. Here’s how one coastal Oregon town helped fill the gap.
Many low-income families in rural Florence don’t have internet access. When Fall classes resumed on-line, there were some students who just couldn’t. Chuck Trent heads the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County.
“We have got to find a way for kids to be able to connect to the virtual classroom,” said Trent. “And we’ve ‘gotta make a way that our first responders and essential workers—they don’t have to worry about their kids while they have to go back to work to serve this community.”
With support from the City of Florence and United Way of Lane County, the Club now serves 20 teens and 27 elementary students-- all day. Online classes in the morning and life skills (culinary arts, financial literacy etc.) music, art and fun in the afternoons. Trent said most of their families receive scholarships.