The Arizona Department of Education today announced its continued support of the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and the Arizona Alliance of YMCAs for the Spring semester to support communities across Arizona with a safe space for learning and development. As schools operating in a distance learning model are still required to provide a physical space for the most at-risk students, the Boys and Girls Club of AZ and YMCA have stepped up to help schools fulfill this requirement.
“Given the highly concerning rate of community spread across our state, and the corresponding need for more schools to return to a distance learning model, the extra support of the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs will provide necessary relief to schools and families, ensuring that every student who needs a safe place to learn, has one.” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Access to affordable childcare is an issue that precedes the pandemic, and now providing children a safe place to learn is more necessary than ever. I am so grateful for the partnership of community-based organizations like the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club.”
“Since March 2020 YMCAs across the state have remained open and operational for emergency childcare. Since then, enrollment has been unpredictable with the opening and closing of schools. Ensuring we have qualified and trained staff at the ready is costly. The funding from ADE is critical as we continue to prepare for the unknown. We thank Superintendent Hoffman for her support of children and families; we are honored to provide the service to our communities in this time of need,” said Jenna Cooper, Associate Vice President, Youth Development & Community Relations.
“Every day, more than 1,000 youth are welcomed into Boys & Girls Clubs around the state. Each of these students, and their families, rely on our programs for high quality care, nutritious meals and the academic and social-emotional support they need in this time of crisis. Thanks to this investment from the Arizona Department of Education, our Clubs will remain open for distance learning and no parent will have to choose between work and their child’s education,” said Marcia Mintz, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. Distance learning sites are open extended hours (typically from 7am – 6pm) for students and they can log on to school, and then participate in after school enrichment including physical/sports recreation, arts, and playing with other youth members.
Using discretionary funding from the federal CARES Act, the Arizona Department of Education has allocated $1.5 million dollars to support the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and the Valley of the Sun YMCA programs in recognition of the vital support they play to students and families across Arizona.