After school programs can make a huge difference for kids in the Quad Cities, but they can’t do their work right now with schools closed.
Spring Forward is one of those after school programs. They are still working to make a difference even though they can’t see their students face to face.
“On a day like this we would have 30 staff at six different schools, serving 200 kids,” says Dan McNeil, Spring Forward Executive Director. “We’re just trying to connect with the kids while their at home the best we can.”
So they’re taking their program online.
“Families can come to our Facebook page, our website. Its just a stream of positive messages, activities and things you can do with your kids,” McNeil continued.
It’s called Spring Forward at Home and it even comes with a logo change for the times.
“We’ve adjusted the logo so the kids are apart. Just to remind them to keep distant and social distancing,” McNeil said.
During school they’re focused on helping kids in the classroom, but the needs are different now.
“Just taking care of yourself, taking care of your family,” McNeil adds. “We’re looking at encouraging messages, just staying relaxed.”
One of the ways they’re doing that is with Spring Forward at 4.
One of their partners, Howard Health Quarters, streams videos promoting wellness at 4 o’clock.
“We like to give a message for the kids to encourage them to keep up on their learning.” says Aaron Howard, owner of Howard Health Quarters. “But then we also want to help them engage in some activity that’s good for them.”
They can’t replace their time in the classroom, but they hope they can still teach their kids something during this tough time.
Howard adds, “There’s still hope, there’s still faith and I want them to be encouraged to still be able to know that they are able to get through these times and these challenges.”
Spring Forward also encourages students to take advantage of their school’s online resources.
With no date as for when school could come back, Spring Forward is working on new online programs.