Youth-oriented businesses band together as distance learning day camps

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.

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