The School of Rec Distance Learning Camp and Care program concluded Wednesday after having served 180 families during the pandemic, including many underserved families. Recreation & Parks staff opened the program in August 2020 following discussions with local school representatives. Small cohorts of children at Finley and Steele Lane community centers received assistance with Zoom classroom participation and took part in safe recreational activities. The program is credited with helping to meet an emergent, critical need within the community, providing a positive and safe environment for youth enrichment and learning during the pandemic.
"The challenges created by COVID-19 were especially hard on many of Santa Rosa's most at-risk families who faced difficulties such as lack of internet access, food insecurity, and limited academic support at home," said program coordinator Juan Flores. Many of the students registered in the program were direct referrals from school principals, counselors and office personnel who had been identified as being most susceptible to severe learning loss during the pandemic.
"We're very grateful and proud that the City and our Recreation team could help meet the needs of our community," added Flores.
Recreation staff donned many new hats to help ensure the program's success, from teaching assistant and parent counselor, to tech guru, to health guidelines monitor, sanitation and social distancing expert, and keeper of all things COVID-safety. The program allowed parents, including many single parents and essential workers to return to work and focus on their jobs while knowing that their children were being provided with a safe and supportive setting for distance learning and safe recreational enrichment.