ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester is now offering distance learning support for students in the area. Not only does this help with school work, but the students can also get access to better technology, high speed internet and 3 meals a day.
Up to 75 students a day can go to the Mayo Civic Center during the week and receive help with distance learning, whether that's with class work, technology or tutoring. In September, the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester was able to open the center thanks to some CARES Act funding from the city. As soon as Rochester Public Schools announced the plan for school this year, staff with the organization had to work really fast to find a space that was big enough to hold all the students they serve.
Persayus is in 6th grade and is doing full-time distance learning right now. She said having this new space to go to for help has improved her grades. "Right now, after I got all my homework, it's going good now. But at first, it was very difficult because I was getting lots of homework and I can't go and just ask my teacher a question about it," explained Persayus. "So it's just really hard because I have to ask over email and then it takes the time to respond and then the assignment gets missing and that goes off my grades. But after I got all my work caught up, my grades are actually going really good."
Persayus said because of the distance learning support center with the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, she's able to focus on her work without being distracted now. "There's not so many people in a room, so it's not that loud and the rules are very easy to follow now. Before, they had lots of rules and they were kind of easy to break," explained Persayus. "Now, they're really specific about the rules about staying distant, always wearing a mask unless you're eating or taking a drink and stuff. It's just really easy to follow."
Every single student is health screened before walking through the doors at the Mayo Civic Center. About 80% of the students the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester already served came back this year, so about 20% of them are new and they do still have limited space available. The funding they received isn't enough to cover the distance learning support center through the end of 2020, so they're looking at about an $80,000 gap right now. If you would like to donate, you can click here.