Coronavirus has upended life across the globe. This virus has fundamentally changed the way we live, our routines, our lifestyle. Companies, schools, churches… Organizations of all types have been forced to close down.
All this is in an effort to control and prevent the spread of the disease. But not everyone can barricade themselves and wait it out. That’s why special centers in NYC have been opened for the kids of the essential workers fighting against Covid-19.
This pilot project by the City of New York was designed to give children of healthcare and essential workers a special center to go while their parents are at work. These regional enrichment centers, located at public schools around the city, are taking in the children of healthcare workers as well as those who work in other essential services such as the grocery stores, utility departments and postal services.
The program was launched in March and has provided about 8,000 children a place where they are provided three meals a day, do their schoolwork, and learn about keeping themselves protected from the virus. They are also provided with recreation and opportunities to learn important skills like laundry.
This is the first time the city has engaged in this kind of project, so it is also something of a social experiment. According to the NY Times:
“We’ve never done something like this before,” said Miranda Barbot, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education. “We’ve made these centers available to thousands of families who need them, and are serving all of the ones who’ve said that they do.”
The eligibility also expanded to the kids of employees who work for city agencies such as the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York City Housing Authority.
According to The Good News Network, Mayor Bill de Blasio highlighted that there are plenty of rooms at the centers.
“They’re there for essential workers,” he said. “So, here’s what it comes down to — so long as the essential worker, if they’ve got a better arrangement, that’s fine. We just need to support them to make sure they can show up and keep doing the lifesaving work they’re doing.”
Besides this program, New York City came up with another initiative to support learning for their out-of-school students. The Department of Education is collaborating with Apple to lend 300,000 iPads to students who do not have access to devices for remote schooling. These iPads will help them continue learning remotely by accessing online courses on the internet.
We may be living through trying times right now, but stories like this remind us that together we can do so much better!
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