YMCA needs volunteers for remote learning centers

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – A move from the Fort Madison YMCA to help provide remote learning centers for at least the first trimester of the school year will require some help from the community.

With Fort Madison Community School District beginning the year in a hybrid learning model that has one group of students on site for a week, and a second group engaged in remote learning, YMCA Executive Director Ryan Wilson launched a survey to look into what needs that created in the community.

The two other districts in the area, Central Lee and Holy Trinity Catholic also have options in place where students could be engaged in remote learning and take advantage of the program. The focus of the YMCA’s program would be to provide a learning space for students who are on remote rotations in the schools hybrid programs, to help parents who work during the day.

The survey asked if parents would need child care/virtual learning support, what hours would they need that support, and what weekly fee range would be acceptable for the services.

Sixty-nine responses were received on the survey and 65 indicated they would need the support. Fifty-six of the respondents indicated they would need help from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The majority, 47, responded that a fee in the area of $25 to $50 would be appropriate. Twenty-eight percent indicated they were willing to pay more.

Wilson said he’s secured two facilities, at the Knights of Columbus and Elliott Test Kitchen, to provide the services. He is reaching out to a few other partners for additional space, but said that isn’t the main concern.

“Right now we need help. We need help with the supervision of the program,” Wilson said.

Wilson said anyone willing to help would be appreciated. Those with some background in teaching, substituting or handling students at different age are encouraged, but he cautioned that some volunteers may not have education backgrounds.

“The hope is that we have people that can supervise and help kids as needed, but I can’t guarantee they’ll be teachers,” he said.

Without the YMCA providing the programming, parents would be left to their own to find a place for their students during the 10 weeks of the first trimester at a minimum.

Wilson said anyone willing to help or supervise the students is encouraged to contact the YMCA at 319-372-2403 or by email at ryan.wilson@fortmadisony.org

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