Community centers transforming into virtual learning centers for students in the Triad

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Monday marks the start of school for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and to help ease the challenges that come with virtual learning, the district is offering community learning hubs.

The Fulton Family YMCA is one of over 30 remote learning sites in the district.

The goal is to offer families a supervised, socially-distanced space with internet access for their children.

“We want to make sure parents can go to work and feel safe knowing that their children are in a safe place and they are getting their work done,” said Kim McClure, with the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina.

She says their facilities in Forsyth County provide spaces that meet social distancing guidelines and accommodate a set number of students.

“Children will all be separated out by grades into different locations in our buildings, in groups of 10 if they are in kindergarten through fifth grade, and they will be in groups of 15 if they are in middle school or high school,” McClure said.

The Fulton location is still being prepped for students and should be ready in two weeks.

“We are in the process of getting enough tables and chairs, and pens and pencils and paper, and headphones,” McClure said.

McClure said children and staff will be screened everyday before they are allowed inside.

These are safety measures that are necessary to ensure they can keep the site open for the next nine weeks.

“We know we can meet their needs, but what we want to do is keep kids safe and keep them healthy. That is the biggest thing, and our staff. We want to minimize any risk or exposure out there,” McClure said.

The YMCA will also provide meals and before and after-school care.

Parents are required to register their children and space is limited.

There are five YMCA facilities in Forsyth County serving as remote learning sites for the school district.

McClure says the YMCA does charge a registration fee, but they do provide financial assistance.

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