ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — With distance learning in place for the rest of the school year, there's an added challenge for those who provide activities after school.
At the Boys and Girls’ Club in Fort Pierce, the paints are bottled up, and there are no dribbling basketballs, thanks to the coronavirus.
25-hundred St. Lucie County kids depend on the Club every day, but for now the doors are closed.
“We had to come up with a game plan on how to serve our club members because they need us,” said Director of Program Tommy John. “The B&G club operates 20 different facilities in St. Lucie County. Five clubhouses like this and the other 15 in county-operated schools. So they have had to take all of the programs they run in these physical facilities and move them online.”
They established a virtual club.
“Original content we create right here in the studio with our staff because we know our kids want to see our staff,” John said.
Club Director Kaitlyn Spera has been offering fitness classes. She says the online sessions provide unique challenges.
“It’s easier to do the activities when the kids are right in front of you. They can feel your energy," Spera said.
Soon, the Club will also provide mentoring calls, something perhaps as simple as an emotional check-in.
"So we’re trying to bring that club experience to wherever they are,” said Club Director Kayla Turner.
One of the slogans among staff is “whatever it takes”… and that’s what they’ll do to continue their community support.