Kalamazoo parks offering help with virtual school

Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation is offering a program to support students - and parents - struggling with virtual schooling.

The Kalamazoo Public Schools are conducting classes entirely online for at least the first 12 weeks of this school year. That’s left some students struggling to keep up.

Not everyone has adequate internet access or the technical savvy to solve problems when they come up. And not every parent can afford to stay home to help their children navigate virtual schooling.

That’s where the City of Kalamazoo’s parks department comes in. The group is offering full day support for students who need somewhere to go to do their online schooling.

“We kind of knew there was going to be a child care issue coming with COVID,” said Chad Wendt, the youth development coordinator for Kalamazoo Parks and Rec, in an interview with WWMT. “It’s a full day program for working parents, parents working from home, or just parents who feel overwhelmed with the virtual process.”

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Parks staff will help kids during the school day and provide other activies, such as arts and crafts, once school activities have ended.

The staff is taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Being able to run our summer camps all very successfully with the COVID precautions, we knew we could do this,” said Wendt.

The program costs $440 per student and will run through the entire trimester. Scholarships are available.

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