ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Boys and Girls Clubs of Rochester is weathering the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while meeting the ongoing needs of its members.
Executive Director Dwayne Mahoney discussed the challenges and the solutions Monday during our Putting Rochester First interview. News 8 is partnering with the United Way for Putting Rochester First to illuminate the efforts of local non-profits during the pandemic.
“Like many others I’m sure, COVID has impacted us in a variety of different ways,” Mahoney said. “I think the biggest impact for us is we’re used to seeing a couple of hundred kids a day – probably 250 is our average. For social distancing purposes we’ve had to reduce that number. In terms of our budget, not having the ability to have special events and those kind of things has impacted our budget as well, so COVID has impacted us in a variety of different ways.”
Mahoney said usually the Boys and Girls Clubs are closed during September each year but not this year. “We’re not closing this September because we’re trying to respond to the need of some parents who have to go to work and their school might have gone virtual or hybrid so we’re going to be ramping up to have an educational component that’s a little bit more structured than we normally have – more tutors, more people helping kids with math, and science, reading, and writing and those kind of things – because parents who have to go to work – most of our parents are essential workers – I don’t think they have the ability to have their children stay home from now until the end of June. School districts are in a bad situation in the sense that they’re trying to do this the right way. They’re trying to figure this out on the fly. We’re trying to support that by being open 8-to-5 so that when kids leave here at five o’clock they have their homework done, they’ve done all of their Zoom calls, they’ve done pretty much everything that a parent would want them to do because some of our parents don’t know Common Core, they don’t have the ability to stay home with kids, and they need to go to work so that’s something that we think we can support.”
To learn more and support the programs of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rochester visit bgcrochester.org.