COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The YMCA of Metropolitan Columbus has provided parents with childcare since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
It first started with children whose parents work at Piedmont Columbus Regional, and then branching out to all children when summer camps were allowed to reopen. One camper, Jerrime Moore, said coming to the YMCA this summer has given him a since of normalcy, even though his school year and summer break has been different.
“I feel very comfortable here now that I’ve spent a couple of years here. I’m more comfortable here,” said Jerrime.
The YMCA is offering what it calls “learning pods” for kids ages five to 16 who are attending school virtually. Kids can be dropped off as early as 6 a.m., and the learning sessions will begin at 8 a.m. All kids are required to bring their Chromebooks to complete their assignments, and staff will be ready to assist them. Branch Director Edmund Peabody said
“We saw where we could provide a service as well as help our partners in education in Muscogee County to say that we are going to step in while you guys are closed and we’re going to take care of your children,” Branch Director Edmund Peabody.
Slots are limited for the learning pods and leaders are encouraging people to sign up sooner than later. The A.J. McClung branch will host 60 kids, the John P. Thayer branch will host 30 kids, and the D.A. Turner branch will host 100 kids. The fee is $90 a week for members and $115 a week for non-members. Financial assistance is also available for those in need.
Jerrime will be splitting his time learning at home and attending the YMCA’s learning pods. He said doing virtual learning at the Thayer branch will be a new experience.
“It’s going to be pretty interesting. It’s going to be different, but I feel like it’s going to be like just learning on a computer,” said Jerrime.
To ensure the safety of kids, there will be curbside drop off and pick up, daily temperature checks, and frequent sanitization.