Happening at HYC
Aloha kakou! HYC is pleased to share our March 2021 article from the Hamakua Times. Be sure to pick up a print copy if you're lucky enough to live in Hamakua!
Distance Learning Support Helps HYC Families
By Jeannette Soon-Ludes
Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi (February 19, 2021) – Laptops, WiFi, and kid-sized masks have been staples of the HYC Keiki Program this school year. With expanded hours of operation, HYC has been helping families tackle the challenges of distance learning during the COVID school closures. It starts with sleepy-eyed kids checking in by 8 am, continues through online classes and school lunch pickup, and extends into the afternoon when outdoor play and enrichment programming are ways to shake off the digital daze.
The expanded program has been tremendously helpful for the families of enrolled youth. One parent whose two daughters have been at the center for three years explained, “During the pandemic HYC has done amazing in terms of helping the children and community…taking the children for full school days with tutoring, gardening, and essentially keeping the children on track.” Another parent shared, “Being a single parent in the middle of this pandemic while working full time and trying to help my son with his work has been beyond difficult and would be next to impossible if it wasn’t for HYC. I’m so glad that my son has a safe place to go where he’s with people who genuinely care, has help with his schoolwork and gets to have some social interaction.”
The youth make it through with the support of HYC staff, who help students manage meetings and online homework. By 2 pm most are ready to wiggle off their seats. Outdoor play is a must and the youth run and jump and do cartwheels and summersaults once they get outside. Last fall, afternoon enrichment activities included gardening, community service, arts and crafts, and painting.
With such positive feedback from our enrolled families, HYC is pleased to be offering full-day youth programming through the end of the school year. In partnership with Vibrant Hawaiʻi, the Hāmākua Youth Foundation received funds provided by a small group of Kohala Coast residents impressed with the Resilience Hub initiative and who have a passionate desire to support the work of building resilient communities. This spring HYC is looking to do more, including a “Mauka to Makai” digital field trip series, hosting in-person and digital enrichment programs with resilience partners such as Big Island Face Shields and the Honeybee Education Program, and continuing to partner with the Kō Education Center to support local teens.
The Resilience Hubs are an ambitious project and the Hāmākua Youth Center is grateful for the opportunity to share in this island-wide effort. To learn more about Vibrant Hawaiʻi and this project, please visit vibranthawaii.org/cares-hubs.
And as always, please CONTACT US by email or call (808) 775-0976 if you are interested in adding your keiki to our 2020-2021 wait list.