Nowadays, after-school activities aren’t reserved for live on-campus school days. EPISD’s partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of El Paso gives students at five campuses virtual options for after school tutoring, sports, fitness, reading, cooking clubs and other interactive activities.
The Board of Trustees this week approved a partnership to continue the program which began in 2018 through the five-year Texas ACE program and funded by the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers. It quickly turned virtual this spring with COVID restrictions.
“I am so proud of the staff that have been providing programming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said program director Alicia Chumley. “We went from doing in-person programming to virtual programming within a week without hesitation.”
The program is currently available at Clendenin, Whitaker and Sunrise Mountain elementary schools and Magoffin and Ross middle schools. Boys and Girls Club staff lead the activities and also work with Creative Kids and Kids Excel to broaden the offerings for the students participating.
“Our virtual and take-home activities provide both academically-enriching activities and social emotional support during this critical time,” Chumley said. “We are committed to being a constant in the lives of our students by giving them a safe place to learn and be themselves, even if it’s in a virtual setting.”
Lilith Burgoa has two children enrolled in after school activities at Sunrise Mountain Elementary, and loves the program.
“I love how they have weekly topics that are important for the kids to learn,” she said. “I also thank them for their patience. I really admire what they do.”
The Boys and Girls Club staff quickly went into COVID mode, giving families a little support during this unprecedented time.
“During COVID the BGC has done a wonderful job of reaching and providing additional support and services for our families,” said Whitaker principal Antoinette Carpenter. “I cannot express my gratitude for all that they have done.”
The Boys and Girls Club has partnered with the Great Khalid Foundation to give families Thanksgiving meals and worked with Operation Noel to make sure kids have coats this winter in addition to their role of tutoring and leading other after school programming.
“The list is endless of opportunities and services they have provided for our families,” Carpenter said. “There were many days as I left Whitaker for evening, I would see the team parked in the parking lot waiting to provide for our families throughout the pandemic. We are fortunate to have this program at our campus and I would like to thank BGC for their dedication to our community.”