Hello! We hope everyone is safe and well. This is a fall like none other. We know that as we return to school, work and programs, there is some degree of trepidation. But we hope that, like all of us at the Club, you and your children are also feeling excited to get back to some degree of normalcy after such a long few months.
We would like to take this opportunity to update you with what has been going on at the Club this summer, our plans for the fall, and what precautions we are taking to keep our members, our staff, and our communities safe.
Food support – With the support of PC Children’s Charity, Second Harvest and the government of Canada through the United Way, we have been able to deliver weekly meals and provide grocery gift cards to many of our families who need the help.
Preschool – Preschool was our first program to open back up on June 22. We started out with just a few children and staff members, and steadily grew our numbers from there. By the end of September, we should be back up to almost 65% of our normal capacity (Approximately 43 children).
Summer Camp – We successfully ran in-person summer camp programs at multiple locations in four communities (Bathurst/Dupont, Jane and Finch, Weston-Mount Dennis and St.Clair West). We also ran virtual online summer camps in partnership with the Jays Care Foundation in four communities.
Aquatic Programs – After a successful session in August, we will once again be running a fall session. Registration opens on September 7th and classes will begin on September 21st. Only private and semi-private lessons will be available. There will be no program at the Winona pool this fall nor will we have member (lane, recreation and AquaFit) swims for now.
After school programs for children – We are getting ready to run after school programs in four communities (Bathurst/Dupont, Jane and Finch, Weston-Mount Dennis and Lawrence Heights.) Registration is currently open on our website. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to run our after school programs in York Region as the schools are not yet offering permits to outside groups, however we are optimistic that we will be able to re-open our programs later in the school year.
Virtual after school programs – for those who are more comfortable with at home programs, we are hoping to be able to offer online programs for kids in all our communities, including York Region. They will likely be specialty programs like science and coding. We are applying for funding for these programs and will update our website with more information.
Programs for youth – Our Raise the Grade program for youth will be offered in person and virtually in three communities. At our main Palmerston location, we will offer our daily Youth Hub program, but it will now be a registered program instead of drop in. At some of our locations, depending on how the next few weeks and months go, we will look at slowly starting other programs for youth.
Management team – In order to minimize risk as much as possible, only essential front line staff and their managers are working at the Clubs. The rest of our management team has been primarily working from home. Thanks to the support of our technology consultants and our team’s flexibility and communication skills, we expect this setup to work for the foreseeable future.For all the in-person programs that have been running this summer, we commend the staff, parents, and participants for their careful attention to all the new changes and safety protocols. It wasn’t easy to be among the first to be in a group recreation environment in this pandemic situation, but with everyone’s cooperation, we were able to experience a fun and safe summer.
We have an amazing front line staff team, who have missed the kids and youth very much. They are excited to get back to work. We have seen them rise to the occasion, take on the extra training and precautions that this “new normal” requires of us, and show enormous caring for the well-being of the kids in their care.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, our members, for your support during this difficult time. For those of you sending your children back to us this fall, or who participated in our summer programs, we feel honoured that you have entrusted us with their safety. For those of you who don’t feel quite ready to send your kids to the Club, we understand, and we are here for your when you need us. Let us know how your families are doing, and reach out if you need any assistance.
We take our direction from Toronto Public Health, TDSB, and provincial and federal authorities. The situation is ever changing, but we are optimistic that if we all continue to use caution and work together, we will have a successful and safe fall and winter.
St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club