| Jun 25, 2020
June 2020 Wagon Road Update
Remote school schedule
With our country facing unprecedented challenges, Children’s Aid remains focused on ensuring the safety and health of our clients, staff, and organization. For families living in poverty, worries about coronavirus extend beyond social distancing and stock prices, although those worries are real. The everyday challenges they face—hunger, homelessness, job insecurity, and limited access to health care—become even more destabilizing. Children’s Aid is needed, now more than ever, to meet the essential needs of our children, youth, and families.
The past 100+ days have been understandably tumultuous. The presence of COVID-19 in the New York City Metro area has resulted in Children’s Aid shifting how we deliver our programs and services across every division and program. Social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders have forced us to develop and implement remote/virtual services. Health centers now provide tele-mental and physical health services, social workers check in with clients and youth over video conferencing (mandated in-person visits for youth in foster care still occur when needed), and our teachers quickly adapted curriculum for remote learning. Our initial response of emergency relief – medical care, food, diapers, technology for remote learning, stabilizing foster homes and placements – continues, and is now coupled with what the future looks like and what it means for us and the communities we serve.
As Children’s Aid looked toward the summer, we learned of millions of dollars in public funding cuts for summer programming. Therefore, we are leveraging private partnerships and the expertise of our staff to develop a plan that can be impactful throughout Children’s Aid. In addition to funding cuts, our senior leadership analyzed various models of summer programming (in-person, remote, hybrid) to determine the best way to deliver programs while keeping children, families, and staff safe and adhering to City and State guidelines. Ultimately, Children’s Aid decided not to hold summer camp as usual at Wagon Road in 2020. Therefore, Wagon Road will not have any campers on the premises.
In light of the emerging challenges faced by our clients, Children’s Aid aims to create and deliver a summer of healing for our communities by offering an array of activities and services to combat learning loss, help families recover from the trauma created by COVID-19, and keep youth on track to achieving their academic and personal goals. Specifically, our 2020 summer enrichment programs will be delivered in a remote format, for the first time in our 167-year history, as the pandemic continues to make in-person programming unsafe.
To ensure young people and their families do not lose access to enriching summer opportunities—when structured and supportive programming is needed more than ever—Children’s Aid is developing a virtual adaptation of our summer camp model for 2020. Using a combination of online learning tools, our virtual summer camp program will provide an array of arts, literacy, STEM, and recreation activities designed to combat learning loss and develop key social-emotional skillsets. The program will also connect participants’ families to the network of social services offered by Children’s Aid, helping them address the myriad challenges that have arisen as a result of COVID-19.
We look forward to the time when it is safe to bring campers back to Wagon Road to utilize the amazing campus—the pools, stables, baseball fields, ropes courses, and more. Until then, we are committed to providing engaging programming to meet the needs of our youth.
Thank you for your continued support of Children’s Aid and investment in our comprehensive network of services.
Food distribution in the Bronx
Coach's Corner with Mr. Weems
Online drawing game with teens