YMCA opens learning centers

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Desks are socially distanced in one of the makeshift classrooms ay the Kennett YMCA.

While the Chester County Health Department guidelines included having schools open virtual-only at least through Oct. 9. The YMCA of the Greater Brandywine Valley opened their in-person Learning Centers on Aug. 31.

Students — and everyone else — get health screenings and have their temperatures taken when they enter the building. Classes are limited to 12 students who must wear masks and have their desks a safe distance from others.

Masks are required.

Participation at the Kennett Square branch of the YMCAGBV was light on opening day. While the Kennett branch was expecting 70 students, only two youngsters from Avondale area schools showed up for the 7:30 a.m. start time, but staff members said those schools were the only ones starting school on Aug. 31. Other districts in the area will open next week, and that’s when the Y centers should start seeing more kids.

Nic Legere, the director of Safety and Risk Management for YMCAGBV, said the organization decided to have the in-person centers because of the survey results. He said the Y surveyed 1,000 families, and the majority response was that “those families said they needed in-person support.”

Legere explained that the support included a safe place for the kids while helping with online learning.

“We have a support staff the kids are working on their assignments and doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said.

The Learning Centers are for kids K-sixth grade and run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Legere added the Y is also offering “aftercare” from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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