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Bigfork ACES after school program's new location allows for better social distancing

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-27 00:15:06-04

BIGFORK — A non-profit, Bigfork after school program dedicated to serving everyone has a brand new facility.

Executive Director of Bigfork ACES Cathy Hay told MTN News that they are following all of the county's guidelines to keep their students safe.

"I tell my staff, it's not about a political statement, or their personal feelings or anything, there are guidelines out there," said Hay. "We're following the guidelines."

She said that those guidelines include keeping students in groups of 10, sanitizing and wearing masks. She explained that keeping the students in designated groups of 10 will help with contact tracing if someone were to test positive.

The program can take up to 50 students this year, and Hay said the program had interest from over 70 students.

She added that she hopes coronavirus will improve so the program can accept more students. This year, ACES has a new home, double the size of their old location, making it easy to socially distance students.

"These are very, very large rooms," she said. "So, it'll be very helpful to get the kids socially distanced."

She said that the new location is perfect as it's located right across the street from Bigfork School's playground. Students can socially distance and play together outside.

Hay explained that ACES is being extra careful to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic because of the program's clientele. She says ACES' services are free to a variety of students including those in foster care and wards of the state kindergarten through eighth grade.

"Kids need to have their social time and parents need to get back to work," said Hay. "I'm really proud of the fact that we do have a good reputation. And parents do feel like their kids are safe in our program."

Hay says their next program starts on Sept. 8th.