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Boys and Girls Clubs continue to offer resources despite limited access

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka are helping kids struggling to find, use and afford necessary school resources outside of the classroom due to COVID-19.

The goal is to give them the tools to succeed outside of the classroom.

“I’ve seen it said that parents are asked right now to choose between the physical health and the mental health of their children and it has to be one or the other and what it feels like what we’re doing at the club is trying to make sure both of those aspects are taken care of,” said Jennifer LeClair, the Vice President of Development at Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka.

With limited access because of COVID-19 restrictions, they can only allow a certain number of kids in the building.

LeClair said, “It really aligns us to care for those kids and be able to increase our capacity from the summer so we’re able to care for 50 kids here at the Teen Center and 50 over at Adams. Those are 50 kids at each location that might have otherwise really been struggling to keep up with virtual learning at home.”

She said having to keep those who need help out has been tough, but as guidelines change, the doors will be open for those who need it. “We wish we could do it for all kids but for now we’re doing what we can. Whatever it takes,” said LeClair.

It does cost money to have a child in the clubs. It’s a based on a sliding scale on the child’s school lunch status - whether it’s free or reduced.

They will not turn away anyone who needs help, as they have payment plans and scholarships.

Alysn O. is a mother of a six-year-old who will be in the Adams unit, which is kindergarten to fifth grade. She believes it was the right decision to match her schedule as a working mom.

“I think that it’s been a really good environment for him. They have a very diverse group of children and also, just the extra activities they have going on especially in this COVID environment. I think it’s kept him really engaged,” she said.

She trusts they are handling taking temperatures and keeping kids safe.

“They also ask questions like where we traveled to, that kind of thing so, I think that they’re doing a great job of trying to keep everyone safe so I feel very confident in their ability to keep my child safe.”

More information on scholarships, payment methods and donations can be found on their website.

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