Live Well Erie Child Cares Act funding has been secured for the educational support of area children will be used to establish “Virtual Learning Support Centers” throughout the City of Buffalo from October 5 through December 30, 2020.
Funding is in place to operate as many as 52 sites, each with space for at least 20 students. Over 2500 students in grades K-8 are expected to be included in these in-person Virtual Learning Support Centers.
The support centers will provide supervision for children from 7am through 6pm, serving as a lifeline for working parents and students alike. Students can participate in their remote instruction, receive nutrition, WiFi connectivity, and social-emotional support.
“The Buffalo Board of Education and I thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Deputy Maria Whyte for consistently supporting school districts in Erie County,” said
Buffalo Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. “During this time of remote learning, I am pleased that Say Yes Buffalo, under the leadership of Executive Director David Rust, will ensure that our students benefit from these Virtual Learning Support Centers while also helping to boost their academic studies.”
The support centers will be offered at no cost to families with income under 85% of the New York State Median Income ($81,549 for a family of 4, for example). Sites will be located throughout Buffalo at a mix of existing day care centers, churches, community centers, and youth-oriented agencies like the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA. As transportation will not provided, every effort has been made to locate these centers in neighborhoods where the expected need will be highest.
“We’re proud to help facilitate of this critical program that we hope will benefit some of the students and families who are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of this pandemic,” Say Yes Buffalo Executive Director David Rust said. “We applaud the work of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Deputy Executive Maria Whyte. At Say Yes Buffalo, we will do everything in our power to increase educational success in our community, and in tough times, that only means we work harder.”
All sites will adhere to strict health and safety protocols in keeping with CDC/NYSDOH guidance and OCFS regulations as overseen by a newly hired Health Coordinator, a licensed nurse with experience working in Buffalo schools. We will be providing sites with detailed policies and procedures in regards to the following: health checks at arrival and dismissal, healthy hygiene reinforcement, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, and the handling of symptomatic individuals and potential positive cases.
A copy of our Health and Safety protocols document, and a list of all Virtual Learning Support Centers sites including contact information can be found at: http://SayYesBuffalo.org
Families and caregivers can apply and register to support center sites directly!
Below is a poster with full contact information for each program site designed to be shared widel