Despite interruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were able to complete a successful summer program. Now that the fall semester has started as a virtual learning environment, we have made adaptations to help suit the needs of the community.
Our maximum enrollment has been reduced from fifty students to twenty so that we may continue to use social distancing, and our current enrollment is twelve. We have also expanded the After-School Enrichment Program, which now lasts the full school day. Since not all children have access to computers and internet, our computer lab serves as a virtual learning center where the children are able to connect with their online schools. Even for children who have the necessary equipment, they may not have at-home supervision and security during their school hours.
There have been a few challenges with internet speed and connectivity, but your support is helping us work through these issues. Another challenge has been ensuring that we have enough laptops. Our computer lab was not originally set up for social distancing, so as enrollment increases, we will have to set up other spaces in the building to serve as mini-computer labs or get more laptops.
Aside from the virtual learning programs, we continue to support the community by weekly distributing 200-300 hot meals, groceries, masks, and other needed supplies. We know that there will be additional changes in October when children will be able to attend school in-person, but we are not sure how that will look yet. We do know that with your support, we will continue to meet all of the challenges of this time.
Jun 2, 2020
Your Support Helped Keep Us Going
By Shondra Muhammad - Executive Administrator
SHAPE Community Center is so grateful for all of the support we have received during this time. As with the rest of the world, our operations came to an abrupt halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with help from your donations, we were able to quickly switch tracks and respond to those in need.
All of a sudden, we lost income from our events and event facility rentals, our onsite café and commercial kitchen rentals, our after-school program, and other donations; still we were so fortunate that contributions came in and allowed us to provide child care for essential workers, in addition to meals, transportation, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, disinfectant, and reliable information to those in need.
It just so happens that we had recently purchased several hundred dollars’ worth of bottled water for our youth fundraiser, and we were able to repurpose that supply to deliver 1-2 cases of water and other necessities to approximately 30-50 elders and other vulnerable individuals each week since March. Along with those daily deliveries, we also hosted five “grab-n-go” food and supply giveaways, which serviced over 1,500 families and individuals.
As our country reopens, we continue to move forward with caution as we restore SHAPE’s regular programming in the safest manner possible. We wish you the best of health and happiness, and thank you again for all of your support.
May 21, 2020
Serving in the Midst of A Pandemic
By Shondra Muhammad - Executive Administrator
First of all, we hope and pray that everyone is doing their best to stay safe and healthy. The coronavirus pandemic was definitely not part of our plans for 2020, but we could not be prouder of our community response!
Although our programs came to an abrupt halt during the shutdown, your help allowed us to immediately change course. Since we provide services to disadvantaged communities, we were deemed essential and allowed to continue operations. Our youth program enrollment dropped to 5-15 children whose parents were essential workers. Even that aspect was short lived because we ran out of resources such as sanitizer, bleach, and thermometer covers. With the help of donations like yours, we were able to restock those items and purchase two touchless thermometers; however we were not able to resume child care as restrictions tightened. Instead, we became a resource center. SHAPE provided hot meals for over 1,000 families and individuals. In addition, we were able to provide more than 500 masks, cleaning supplies, online academic support, and 15 laptops to needy school-age children. Along with the rest of the country, we have seen an increase in incidents of child abuse, trauma, or neglect. But, your help has allowed us to work with psychologists and social workers to help families get much needed support.
As restrictions relax, we hope to see risks decrease, and we anticipate re-opening child care in June. We are committed to following all State guidelines, CDC recommendations, and our own additional guidelines to ensure the safest return to programs. Thank you so much for your continued support.