ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester closed for a few days last month after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. But because of all the safety measures they have in place, they were able to reopen fairly quickly.
The summertime normally brings in up to 150 kids every day, but right now, they're averaging about 20 to 25. CEO, Chad Campbell, explained it's been challenging not being able to reach all their usual kids, but they're working on ways to help more in the community, both physically and mentally. "So being there for them, helping to give them some social and emotional support so they understand we're all going to get through this," said Campbell. "It's going to take a while, but we're going to get through it and we're here to walk through it with you."
Campbell said it's their mission to empower kids in the community and help them reach their greatest potential. He said the kids who are most deeply impacted by the pandemic are the ones they serve. Families are facing a lot of challenges right now and they didn't want the closure of boys and girls club to be another challenge for them. That's why it was so important to staff to reopen as quickly as possible to help families through their barriers. "We had one parent upon bringing their children one more just said, 'you guys were closed for a few months and I saw my kids start to retreat into themselves a little bit. And since we've been back, I feel like I have my kid back again,'" Campbell said.
The Boys and Girls Club is staying in contact with Rochester Public Schools to determine what their fall will look like as well. Campbell said whether kids need help with distance learning or enrichment programs after school, they're in the process of figuring out how to best serve their families.