Out-of-school time practitioners recently shared the impact that COVID-19 has had on their programs and their hopes for the future. Read below to hear their wishes to help make their programs better, what keeps them motivated to keep showing up for the children who attend their programs and how Prime Time has continued to offer support during this unprecedented time.
“I want parents to know that we have a safe environment to bring youth back too. They need us and the statistics to show that children succeed with spaces like ours. I also hope that that we can get more funding. Early Learning Coalition supported us through enrollment instead of attendance, but we still need support for us to operate and provide our staff with opportunity to come back and stay.”
– Jowie -Mohammed, Assistant Director of Leisure Services, City of Greenacres, C.A.R.E.S Program
“My one wish is to get our enrollment up for spring and summer (2021). We want to provide opportunities for teens to come back too. I hope through our assessments and as an advocate practitioner for our site I get to see our youth engage in a better way.”
– Adam Mohammed, Youth Development Specialist, City of Greenacres, Teen Programs
“Prime Time has offered connections and innovative ways to interact with youth through professional development trainings and coaching offered by our quality advisor. We are not only getting our youth started with their education, we are helping them to continue their education. Learning about potential expanded learning opportunities and knowing that we can tap into them for our youth makes me eager and excited.
Something no one would know about my job is the impact we have working in a positive program. The children can talk openly about their fears, their worries and their success. They look forward to their time with us.”
– Gregory Williams, Program Specialist, City of Pahokee Parks & Recreation Middle School Afterschool Program
” A lot more has gone into the process of innovative thinking and providing a safe environment this year, especially when collaborating with the community and providing proactive opportunities for our youth. We have fed our community, transported our youth from their homes to our site so they can have support with virtual learning and provided a space with internet access when there was no access to some areas. Our whole process has changed, but we continue to provide for our community and youth.”
– Michael Pinkney (pictured left), Afterschool Director, City of Pahokee Parks & Recreation Afterschool Program
“The children in my program keep me motivated. I walked into my office today hearing my name being called and children saying my name from across the courtyard. The benefit I get from helping them grow, knowing I make a difference, it’s awesome because they make all the difference for me.
If I had two wishes they would be for safer protocols for everyone. For example, if we could have more space to give to our children and youth, we could give them more chances to do activities, be in groups and allow their parents feel safe too.
A big wish would be providing an IPAD to each of my youth. We had Green Mouse Academy as an expanded learning opportunity and it was incredible to see because it allowed each of the youth to be part of their building bots separately and in a group. It was safe and engaging. I wish we had this to continually stay connected with them, as an IPAD would be their own.”
– Demetria White (pictured left), Afterschool Director, Lincoln Elementary Afterschool Program
Prime Time Palm Beach County is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and supports for out-of-school time professionals to develop programs that inspire children to be their best and allow them to thrive socially and academically. Prime Time’s integrated model of services is one of the strongest, most comprehensive and well-respected systems for measuring and improving out-of-school time program quality in the nation. www.primetimepbc.org