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Boys and Girls Club of Hernando Now Provides Virtual Learning

By Deanna Dammer Kimbrough Posted on April 16, 2020

An order to stay home or distance yourself from other people does not mean teaching and mentoring our area’s children must come to a complete halt.  Today’s technology means that if you can’t go to the classroom, the classroom can come to you. 

That’s exactly how the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando is responding to Governor Ron DeSantis’ order to “stay at home” due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Club’s Director of Development and Grant Director, Jennifer Harpin, says “Under healthy circumstances, the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando serves about 1,800 young people through membership and community outreach at nine facilities throughout Hernando County with before and after school programs.  Licensed pre-school programs are normally available at five of these locations.”

Until the Club is able to reopen all of its facilities, Harpin is grateful for a $25,000 grant from the Anthem Foundation, which is part of health insurance provider Anthem, Inc. 

Boys and Girls Club of Hernando Opens Cyber Clubhouse to help meet the needs of area Youth

The grant is making it possible for the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando to offer free virtual programming at the Hernando County Cyber Clubhouse through its website:  www.bgchernando.org

A statement on the Cyber Clubhouse  explains, “COVID-19 is having a major impact on the world around us but Boys & Girls Clubs of Hernando County is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure youth and families have what they need through these uncertain times. To meet the needs of Club members and all Hernando County youth, we are sharing daily lessons on this page that can be accessed virtually, so everyone can take part in the Boys & Girls Club fun and learning while being safe at home.”

Virtual Lessons are provided through Cyber Clubhouse

Cyber Clubhouse provides information via YouTube and other video sharing services, so kids will be able to choose from categories like:

  • Academic Success, using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).
  • Health and Fitness, with videos for daily exercise and cooking ideas that include safety tips.
  • Arts and Crafts, focusing on projects using paint, paper, pens and pencils, and even rocks.
  • Pre-School, teaching phonics, writing and reading.

Each day offers new topics, including a fun feature with new Facts, Jokes and Words that change daily.  There are other links to take you on a variety of virtual learning experiences.

Virtual Mentoring and Prevention Programming has also Launched

The Club’s Virtual Mentoring and Prevention Programming has launched Zoom, which includes how to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals, known as SMART. 

Though the Anthem Foundation grant doesn’t cover this mentoring program, it helps the Club’s young people learn key life skills for coping.  A parental consent form with information about setting up a Zoom profile is being provided.

Considering that child safety is the #1 priority at the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando, use of the Cyber Clubhouse and other virtual programming also reaches “other layers”.  Harpin says teachers and parents are safer when these programs are used for our young people.

Current Partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando are helping fulfill its mission: United Way of Hernando which provides scholarships for low income families, Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando, Florida Department of Children and Families, and the Hernando School District.

Many other supporters provide school supplies, food and other essentials for children served by the Club. 

Boys and Girls Club of Hernando works toward its “Great Futures Vision”

For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando or to find out how you can help, call 352-666-0068.  To keep up with developing news about the Club, continue to check out the website at: bgchernando.org

When COVID-19 is behind us, and it is safe to go back to “business as usual”, the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando will be ready to make yet another amazing step toward the national organization’s “Great Futures Vision” to provide a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

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