As of this writing, we do not yet know how COVID-19 will impact our education system, but we know that in some ways things are not going to be the same. In March, our program staff and kids had to adjust overnight to remote schooling, which required a whole new kind of organizational skills, as well as different resources and tools. Our teaching parents had to get used to the idea of becoming “homeschool teachers” to an entire cottage of kids, all with different classes and needs.
All these sudden changes were a bit trying for everyone on campus. The kids had to quickly readjust their focus and manage their related stress. The teaching parents had to establish a new structure for our kids that used to be provided at school. Some BGC students were easily able to maintain good grades and habits; others struggled to find motivation and needed more support.
Our 10 seniors, already battling “senioritis,” had to find the drive within themselves to make that last push to graduate. The path towards independence is sometimes a difficult one, and the pandemic made the future for them more uncertain. They missed their friends and the school community that played such a big role in their lives. All of these new stressors were piled on top of their past traumas that they worked so hard to overcome.
Our education lab had to make adjustments as well. Before the schools closed, 25-35 students utilized the lab on a daily basis. That number quickly grew as all our students needed computers, access to the internet, help with homework and tutoring every day.
At Boys and Girls Country, we know that education is absolutely critical for a successful future. Education will always be one of our top priorities, whether the kids are back in the school building full-time, schooling from home or some combination in between. Unfortunately, children in “out-of-home placements” like BGC are less likely than their peers to earn a high school diploma or GED, and our kids often come to us several grade levels behind their peers in key subjects. Thankfully, BGC offers the resources to help the children achieve their educational goals and exceed them.
Regardless of the challenges on our way, we will continue being there for our kids. For 49 years you have supported our mission that changed lives of more than 1,500 children and families. Some of them joined the military; others pursued technical college or bachelor’s degrees. Most importantly, they learned to not allow past trauma to affect their future.
With the new school year fast-approaching and the uncertainty still surrounding it, our kids need the love and security that BGC provides more than ever before to continue making progress in school. Your support ensures our kids are fed and have their own beds to sleep in. You also help them grow their social skills, overcome trauma and find healing and hope. All of these things allow them to focus on learning and pave the way for a better life.
We are so thankful for your support. Thanks to you, our mission is alive and the future of our children and young adults is bright.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31