RMSC, Strong Museum launch programs to provide safe remote learning spaces for kids

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two of Rochester’s beloved museums, Rochester Museum and Science Center, and The Strong Museum of Play, are launching similar programs to provide a safe place for remote learning.

RMSC’s program is called “Curiosity Club,” and The Strong’s, “Strong School Club.” Both programs start September 14, and each provide supervision for the kids school remote learning, as well as extra educational curriculum.

Both programs aim to provide a safe, and supervised place for kids to do complete their remote learning assignments, and provide relief for parents as well.

“A lot of our families just didn’t know what we were going to do, there was a lot of anxiety,” said Stephen Weisenreder with RMSC. “So coming up with this program, provides that safe and accepting space for kids to be while their parents are at work, while they’re doing their remote school work.”

RMSC has also worked with their donors and other partners to come up with scholarship plans to make this program accessible and affordable to more families. RMSC says that families are eligible to receive a full scholarship, if they are eligible for SNAP benefits.

While The Strong is still working on scholarship plans, they have prioritized flexibility of scheduling for parents.

“When we built this out, one of the things we wanted to ensure was that there were options,” said Shane Rhinewald with The Strong. “So it wasn’t that you were locked into five days, or any specific days, so there are two, three, four, five day options.”

Further details from RMSC’s Curiosity Club:

  • Students sign up for 2 or 3 days per week. Additional days are available as add-ons.
  • The program will begin at 9am and end at 4pm.
  • Staff from the RMSC Education Department will supervise the program, allowing students who need help with schooling to be supported by trained educators.
  • Curiosity Club will feature a mix of structured time for school work, homework help, hands-on STEAM activities, and free time in the Museum galleries/exhibits and outdoor play areas.
  • Quiet spaces will be available for students who may need them.
  • Lunch and snacks will not be provided. Parents must send their kids with a lunch and a snack from home.
  • Students must bring their own devices, headphones, tools, and technology.
  • General classroom supplies will be available.

Why Curiosity Club?

  • Your child can attend school virtually from a safe, supervised, engaging location
  • We ensure socially-distanced classrooms and learning spaces for your student to do their virtual school work
  • We provide Wi-fi and quiet study/reading areas to create the best learning environment
  • Curiosity Club offers homework help from experienced RMSC educators
  • Our educators lead fun, hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) enrichment activities 
  • We will also offer RMSC experiences such as Live Science shows, Electricity Theater, and Planetarium shows
  • Your child can enjoy safe and supportive indoor and outdoor spaces for exploration
  • Curiosity Club creates opportunities to forge new friendships and to engage in social-emotional development with experienced, nurturing staff members in a one-of-a-kind environment

Further details from The Strong’s club here:

The club runs daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early Drop-off at 7:45 a.m. and after-care pick-up until 5:30 p.m. is available for an additional fee (see fees below). Drop-off and pick-up occur at the museum’s pedestrian entrance along Manhattan Square (not through the garage) and do not require parking fees or validations.

The specific daily schedule for each student will depend on their school district needs but will include time for their virtual lessons and project work, along with breaks, lunch, and activities in the museum. Parents will complete a daily written schedule form for students that lists virtual classes, including times and login info. (Please note: Museum staff will be able to provide some assistance to students but are not trained to work on specific projects, curriculum, or educational plans.)

Daily Pricing

Strong School Club: $50 for members, $55 for nonmembers
Pre-care (7:45 a.m.): additional $5 per day
After-care (until 5:30 p.m.): additional $5 per day

The program must be paid for in two-week increments. Payment details available on the application form.

Food

Students should bring their own lunch and snacks.

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