At their January 2021 board meeting, the Steelcase Foundation board of trustees approved a $50,000 grant to Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (BGCGR) to support its Learning Assistance Program, an extension of its afterschool programming which supported children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a safe space for students to engage in and receive help with virtual learning.
As many school districts transitioned to virtual learning to lessen the spread of the virus, working parents struggled to balance their own employment with children attending school at home. The Boys and Girls Club looked to fill this gap by launching its Learning Assistance Program, operating its clubs Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and providing the needed equipment, assistance, and sustenance (BGC provides students breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to keep students academically on track during virtual learning. Mornings were dedicated to virtual classroom instruction and afternoons focused on more traditional BGC programming such as sports, mentoring, and clubs.
The Learning Assistance Program served up to 450 students each day between BGC’s three clubs ensuring students have a safe and engaging space to learn each day. We’re so grateful to Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids for its efforts to meet the needs of children and families in our community until in-person school could resume as usual.