Thank You Coscto for Supporting Washington Youth!
School closures, though an appropriate measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, left many families in a difficult situation. While schools have made every effort to deliver quality online academic programming, for the youth we serve, home internet access has not been guaranteed. This increases the risk of an academic backslide in critical subjects like English Language Arts and Math. Last summer, McKinsey and Company released a white-paper that summarized the effects of COVID-19 on learning loss, especially on BIPOC and low-income youth. The study concluded that “the pandemic would exacerbate existing achievement gaps by 15 to 20 percent.” This turned out to be the case for many of the children and teens served throughout Washington.
The start of the school year remotely over a computer was particularly challenging for the Kindergarten members, who were left without ever entering the classroom or learning classroom structure. The amount of screen time became a concern in regards to reduced physical activity and overall health. Clubs have been able to support students through continuous communication with their teachers, and coordinating meetings with school specialists and counselors. Reduced social interactions with classmates and teachers has also been a concern and the Clubs have been diligent in providing social emotional support.
Across Washington Clubs, staff members have utilized the success found in previous Project Learn collaborations to support youth during this unprecedented year. Each member organization of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington State continued operations throughout the 2020-2021 School Year. In fact, each organization expanded their hours and services to include some form of distance learning support and social-emotional learning. Due to this collective effort, Boys & Girls Clubs members have likely experienced reduced learning loss and are poised to succeed as reopening continues for schools around Washington.