EAST MISSOULA — Parents are often scrambling to keep a sense of normalcy for their kids as school districts across the area continue to move back and forth between in-person and virtual learning.
There is a new resource now available for those who live in the East Missoula area. Mount Jumbo School, which has been mostly dormant in recent years, was targeted as a new location for a YMCA Missoula extended learning site.
The decision was made after the YMCA, Missoula County Public Schools and the East Missoula Community Council felt the area was in need of the service. The YMCA has had extended learning programs in four other locations since the pandemic started, but this is the first one in East Missoula.
The staff will make sure the kids have a positive, educational experience. Now, parents can use the program when school is not in session or changes were suddenly made.
“So there definitely is a gap with kids not in school the amount they normally would be. It puts a strain on a lot of our families, with a lot of inconsistencies,” explained the YMCA's Nicole Martin. “And the “Y” in our programs hopes to provide a little more stability and consistency...through a full day child enrichment program, which is a full-day child care program for kindergarten through sixth grade."
The YMCA is also planning a Learning Hub for those who may not need as much supervision. It will be in the gymnasium at Mount Jumbo School.
“And that’s what we’re hoping for with our Learning Hub, that would allow for a few hours of work where kids could get some support, connection with an adult, and access to some of the essential needs to do remote learning,” Martin explained.
There is a $20 dollar fee for extended learning, but scholarships are available. The YMCA Missoula website has all the details.