MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) Ryan Sullivan is balancing work and family. "Given the fact that both my wife and I work, it's kind of a struggle to do anything at home," said Sullivan.
Sullivan admits it hasn't been easy during the COVID-19 pandemic and things could only get harder as schools continue distance learning. "The lack of socialization. The lack of hands on in person teaching, particularly with the young kids," said Sullivan.
This summer, the Central Coast YMCA is hosting "socially distanced" camps. It's worked so well that they plan to continue it for children of essential workers.
"As soon as parents heard that school wasn't going back to a regular school day, our phone has been ringing off the hook. They need help. They want help," said Central Coast YMCA Chief Operating Officer, Amy Grames.
Starting in August, Central Coast YMCA locations will launch their "Excel Beyond the Bell" program. Care and learning assistance will be provided Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Staff will help kids with their online assignments for three hours each day. It's intended to take some pressure off of parents and allow kids to participate in a more typical learning setting. "It's really good for the kids because mental health for them right now, not being in the schools system, is something that is needed. They really want to engage with other students. They do need to have that engagement for their mental well-being." said Grames.
The YMCA also plans to bring to program to school campuses. Grames this will allow districts to provide more options for at risk students.
Sullivan said as long as schools are closed, his kids will return to the YMCA. "To get something during the day, while we are working is a huge benefit to us," said Sullivan.