KENDALL, Fla. – A lot of local youth-oriented business are stepping up to the plate to help parents this school year who have anxiety over juggling distance learning, working and safety.
Business that have always catered to kids, such as Meni-Ninho, Meni-Ninha in Miami, martial arts schools like AJC in Homestead and dance academies like Dance Gallery in Kendall, could be saving graces for parents as owners are rethinking their business models, turning their businesses into distance-learning day camps.
“What we decided to do was offer a program where we have assistance with our teachers to help them during their virtual program in the morning. Kids can continue to go to school because parents have to work,” Cynthia Stewart of Menin-Ninho, Meni-Ninha said.
“They want somewhere that’s both trusted and reliable but in today’s world, COVID-19 safe,” Liven Concepcion of AJC Adademy Kyoshi said. “We are tailoring to the Miami Dade County Public schools online class schedule. And because it is a martial arts school, you have the structure of martial arts dojo,” Concepcion said.
Rosemarie Baker of Dance Gallery in Kendall said: “My parents trust me and know if I say I am following the rules, I am following the rules. They just don’t know what to do, they have to go back to work, some of them have two, three kids, different age groups and they don’t have no one to help them,” Baker said.
These businesses are rising up to fill the tutoring, enrichment and child-care needs of working parents and their children facing a virtual start to the school year. The idea? Small, group learning pods of 10 kids or less with instructors to help with digital curriculum.
Parents want to make sure they are able to learn," Stewart said.
At AJ Martial Arts, one tutor per pod of 9 students. "It is set up like a classroom so they have a school mindset," Concepcion said.
Then, after school work is done, there are after school youth activities.
At the dance academy, there will be 4 p.m. classes. “So the parent can work until 5 or 6,” Baker said.
The distance-learning day camps will make sure that they are following sanitizing protocol and kids’ temperatures will be taken.
They will follow existing Miami-Dade County New Normal guidelines for child care facilities and camps, adapted to help families manage the demands of distance learning.
“We will help them stay focused on class assignments and once they are done, they can play until parents come and pick them up,” Stewart said.
The Children’s Trust of Miami has also announced that it has begun funding more than 80 locations to offer full-day support to families that need a safe space for their child during distance learning.
Employees will be monitoring children and offering guidance when needed, whether in their education or helping with any technological issues.
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[RELATED: Distance learning day camps are following existing Miami-Dade County New Normal guidelines for Childcare Facilities and Camps:. See the guidelines here.]
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