DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Like many other organizations across the country, the Boys and Girls Club of Dayton is figuring out how to operate safely during the pandemic, and Interim Director of the club, Omotayo Obayanju, said that means even the youngsters will have to adhere to health and safety guidelines.
“When the club opens back up in September, we’re going to be following the BGCA’s guidelines of a one to nine ratio. All members who come in must wear masks. Staff members will be wearing masks as well. When the members arrive, we’ll be checking their temperatures.”
Obayanju said the tentative reopening date is September 15. He said when students are allowed back in the club, they’ll be required to practice social distancing and in some learning spaces, chairs will be removed so only one student can sit at each table. But he added, the restrictions won’t prevent staff from keeping students on track socially and academically, whether or not they’re physically in the building.
“We’re just going to have to find more creative ways to get to them. As I mentioned, we have a virtual summer academy. We have weekly check ins we do, calling families, just making sure they’re fine.”
Obayanju explained, the organization also launched a program called ‘Club at Home’ that offers core curriculum elements to challenge students while they work outside the classroom, and beyond just focusing on the students, he said the club is taking a more holistic approach to service, with the goal of alleviating stress brought on by the pandemic and altered school schedules.
“We’ve developed a food pantry, [at] which members of the community can come in and gather goods from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and we also have a collaboration right now with Produce One and Dayton Children’s where we give out food every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.”
Obayanju said those resources are not only available to club members and their families. He said any community member in need of meals or personal care items is welcome to pick them up from the club. For more info on how to access resources, click here.