ROCHESTER, Minn. - One person's struggles during the pandemic may be very different from the struggles of another person who was already facing challenges like food insecurity, low income, or mental health issues before the pandemic hit. Many of the kids and families the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester supports are dealing with those kinds of barriers.
Ever since schools closed in March, the Boys and Girls Club building closed as well. Since then, it has offered 2-4 hours of virtual programs daily to stay connected with kids. As the summer approaches, the club is deliberating what summer programs will look like.
"The last thing that we want is for a situation beyond our community's control or capacity to contain to set back our neighbors by months and years in terms of their ability to thrive," says CEO Chad Campbell.
If it stays online, it is working on plans to creatively expand its online club activities. It is also considering re-opening the building this summer. If it does, the club expects to operate differently than before. "Likely, we'd have to reduce our head count per day, increase our supervision ratios, have some special distancing requirements in place, so we've been having some conversations around what that would look like," explains Campbell.
The Boys of Girls Club is tracking infection and death rates, taking CDC guidelines into consideration, and is awaiting guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Education to make decisions on how to proceed.