The COVID-19 crisis has had many devastating consequences for Snohomish County. As people focus on adapting to unemployment, temporary layoffs, business closures and related economic issues, less attention has been given to the needs of our youth and the toll that the pandemic has taken on their often-overlooked lives. From the onset of the crisis, Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County acted swiftly and decisively.
Immediately following the closure of our K-12 schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County transitioned to a full-day program in order to provide a safe space for the kids of working parents who suddenly found themselves without access to the nurturing and safe environment of our educational institutions. This closure of schools and the lack of academic instruction left many of our area families unsure of how to manage both working and finding care for their children.
Thanks to financial support from local companies like Comcast in Washington state, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County responded by not only providing full day services for area youth, but went a step further to provide free childcare for all children of healthcare and first responders, in order to reduce the financial hardship and stress these families are facing. This response has allowed our essential workers to focus on improving the health of our community.
In addition to supporting our healthcare workers and first responders, Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County has also addressed the needs of other essential workers and families by offering significantly reduced rates for all childcare services, beginning in March when COVID-19’s impact prompted school closures. Our clubs’ response efforts have included addressing the need for adding increased academic enrichment activities to ensure that youth who need assistance can complete academic responsibilities that may be assigned to them remotely/virtually.
By partnering with our school districts our team was able to access grade-appropriate curriculum for those youth who may not be able to access distance learning. Digital class sessions, virtual tutoring, web-based learning in Club computer labs and one-to-one tutoring sessions with dedicated Club staff are just some of the methods that Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County is utilizing to help kids prevent learning loss during these challenging times.
While being a critical service for the community, this COVID-19 childcare initiative has taken a significant toll on our operating budget, which has suffered significant revenue losses from the cancelation of numerous activities such as special events and spring sports leagues. Despite these fiscal and operational hardships, our organization continues to be unwavering in our commitment to our kids and families.
During these challenging weeks of response to COVID-19, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County has provided over $500,000 in scholarship funding and services to youth and families which would not have been possible without critical contributions from community partners such as Comcast who stepped in immediately and helped out in an extremely generous and selfless fashion.
In addition to financial support, Comcast of Washington state launched a comprehensive response to support our community that included opening public Wi-Fi hotspots, eliminating data caps, offering billing relief and expanding its low-income internet program, Internet Essentials, through June 30th. Previous Comcast support also funded state-of-the-art infrastructure upgrades, which have increased access to technology for countless youth. With the onset of school closures and distance learning, this has become even more critical.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County needs support from area business now, more than ever. We need local families and business and community leaders to step forward and provide much needed funding for scholarships, program supplies, sports equipment, healthy snacks and more.
Be a Kid Champion and support your local Club at: bgcsc.org/donate/ or call (425)